Psychotic Experiences Have Poorer Health-Related Quality of Life

blurred image of woman.
blurred image of woman.
Investigators also examined the potential dose-response relationships of the number and frequency of psychotic events with health-related quality of life indicators.

Persons with psychotic experiences have poorer health-related quality of life in multiple indicators, according to a study published in Schizophrenia Research.

The study researchers included 33,370 adults in their analysis, assessing them for 5 different health-related quality of life indicators: perceived levels of discrimination and embarrassment, their burden on the social network, and their own rating of their mental and physical health. After adjusting for medical or mental conditions, there was a higher risk for poor self-perceived physical health (odds ratio [OR] 1.3; 95% CI, 1.0-1.7) and mental health (OR 1.5; 95% CI, 1.2-1.9) in those who had a history of psychotic experiences.

There were similar associations between psychotic experiences and both burden on social network and perceptions of stigma. In terms of dose-response relationships, no significant links were found between type and frequency of psychotic experience and self-perceived mental and physical health. However, patients with more types of psychotic experiences were more likely to report increased discrimination (OR 2.2; 95% CI, 1.3-3.5).

Participants were from 19 countries and drawn from the WHO World Mental Health surveys. The study researchers examined links between different variables using logistic regression models, making adjustments for socio-demographics qualities, 14 medical conditions, and 21 different mental disorders classified in DSM-IV. The frequency and number of types of psychotic experience-related episodes were compared with health-related quality of life indicators in terms of the relationship between dose and response.

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The study researchers conclude that “compared to individuals without [psychotic experiences], those with [psychotic experiences] had considerably higher odds of poor [health-related quality of life] on five indicators covering perceived physical and mental health, stigma, and social network burden… Apart from an association between those with more [psychotic experience] types and increased perceived discrimination, there were no significant associations between other [psychotic experience] metrics and the [health-related quality of life] indicators.”


Alonso J, Saha S, Lim CCW, et al; on behalf of the WHO World Mental Health Survey Collaborators. The association between psychotic experiences and health-related quality of life: a cross-national analysis based on World Mental Health Surveys [published online May 16, 2018]. Schizophr Res. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2018.04.044