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Abstract

Factors Affecting the Quality of Life for People with Schizophrenia in Saudi Arabia: A Qualitative Study

Amira Alshowkan, Janette Curtis and Yvonne White

Background: Quality of life (QoL) for people with schizophrenia has been a focus of concern in order to improve their standard of life to lead to more satisfaction, happiness and well-being. However, a little is known about how Saudi Arabian people with schizophrenia perceive their QoL.

Purpose: This study presents the findings of a qualitative study that explored the QoL for 159 people with schizophrenia. Method: Structured face-to-face interviews were conducted with people with schizophrenia who live in the community.

Results: A thematic analysis identified two main factors affecting the QoL for people with schizophrenia: 1) the shame of having schizophrenia was a barrier to their QoL and 2) the positive role of religion was a facilitator for their QoL.

Conclusion: This study concluded the following: 1) Religion helps Saudi Arabian people with schizophrenia cope with and manage their mental illness, which improves their QoL, and 2) the shame of having a mental illness negatively affects the social engagement of Saudi Arabian people with schizophrenia, limiting their participation in leisure and work activities and therefore diminishing their QoL. The implications of these results in improving the QoL for people with schizophrenia and other mental illness in Saudi Arabia are discussed.