Speech disturbances and quality of life in schizophrenia: Differential impacts on functioning and life satisfaction

Eric J Tan, Neil Arthur Thomas, Susan Lee Rossell

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72 Citations (Scopus)


Speech disturbances in schizophrenia impact on the individual s communicative ability. Although they are considered a core feature of schizophrenia, comparatively little work has been done to examine their impact on the life experiences of patients. This study aimed to examine the relationship between schizophrenia speech disturbances, including those traditionally known as formal thought disorder (TD), and quality of life (QoL). It assessed effects on functioning (objective QoL) and satisfaction (subjective QoL) concurrently, while controlling for the influence of neurocognition and depression. Fifty-four patients with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder were administered the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB), the PANSS, MADRS (with separate ratings for negative TD [verbal underproductivity] and positive TD [verbal disorganisation and pressured speech]) and Lehman s QOLI assessing both objective and subjective QoL. Ratings of positive and negative TD, depression, and general neurocognition were entered into hierarchical regressions to explore their relationship with both life functioning and satisfaction. Verbal underproductivity was a significant predictor of objective QoL, while pressured speech had a trend association with subjective QoL. This suggests a differential relationship between speech disturbances and QoL. Verbal underproductivity seems to affect daily functioning and relations with others, while pressured speech is predictive of satisfaction with life. The impact of verbal underproductivity on QoL suggests it to be an important target for rehabilitation in schizophrenia. ? 2014 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693 - 698
Number of pages6
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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