The quality of life of people with schizophrenia in Boulder, Colorado, and Bologna, Italy

Richard Warner, Giovanni De Girolamo, Gabriella Belelli, Carlo Bologna, Angelo Fioritti, Giorgio Rosini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the study was to compare the quality of life (QOL) and needs of people with schizophrenia in comprehensive treatment systems in two countries. One hundred people with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder were randomly selected from the caseload of a community mental health center in Boulder, Colorado, and 70 were similarly selected from public psychiatric treatment services in and around Bologna, Italy. Subjects were interviewed with QOL and needs assessment instruments and rated with the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale. Objective QOL measures favored Bologna subjects over Boulder subjects, particularly with respect to employment, accommodation, and family life. In a factor analysis, objective QOL variables sorted separately from subjective satisfaction ratings, suggesting that they measure different underlying constructs. Patient needs in both Boulder and Bologna samples were primarily psychological and social rather than basic survival issues. Boulder subjects were more likely to report accommodation needs. Many apparent QOL advantages for Bologna subjects could be attributed to the greater frequency with which the Italian patients lived with family of origin. Living with family also appeared to confer practical benefits in meeting needs. Objective QOL measures discriminated between patient populations better than subjective ratings of satisfaction and well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-568
Number of pages10
JournalSchizophrenia Bulletin
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Italy
  • Quality of life
  • Transnational comparison

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neuroscience(all)


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