Quality of life, symptom severity and level of functioning in people with severe mental illness ready for hospital discharge

W.T. Chien, D. Thomson, Sau Fong Leung, D. Bressington

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


There is a lack of evidence on quality of life (QoL) and functioning in Asian people with severe mental illness (SMI) immediately prior to hospital discharge. This information could have major implications for their care.

To profile perceived quality of life, symptom severity and level of functioning among people with SMI.

A cross-sectional study involving 347 adult inpatients with SMI. QoL (WHO Quality of Life - Brief Form), symptom severity (Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale) and level of functioning (Specific Level of Functioning) were measured immediately pre-discharge.

Participants reported low social relationship-related QOL. Weak correlations were found between functioning, QoL and symptoms. Regression analysis identified the social relationship QoL domain, employment status, education level, living situation, physical illnesses, overall symptoms and the duration of receiving psychiatric services were statistically significant predictors of functioning levels.

The findings highlight the need for interventions to improve the traditionally less obvious aspects of health and functioning following an inpatient admission.

Implications for practice
Interventions to improve health outcomes in recently discharged people with SMI may need to focus on improving patients’ social relationships, controlling negative/general psychopathology symptoms, supporting return to employment and minimising the risk of physical illness.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2020

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