Aims: This article investigates the subjective experience of the process of improvement and recovery from the point of view of persons diagnosed (according to research diagnostic criteria) with schizophrenia and schizo-affective disorders. Methods: A community study of persons using psychiatric services was conducted for a sample of ninety subjects taking atypical antipsychotic medications. Sociodemographic data and clinical ratings were collected to complement the qualitatively developed Subjective Experience of Medication Interview (SEMI), which elicits narrative data on everyday activities, medication and treatment, management of symptoms, expectations concerning recovery, stigma, and quality of life. Results: Recovery was observed through: (1) relatively low ratings of psychiatrically observed symptomatology through BPRS scores; (2) the subjective sense among the majority (77.4%) of participants that taking medication plays a critical role in managing symptoms and avoiding hospitalization; and (3) the subjective sense articulated by the vast majority (80%) that they would recover from their illness and that the quality of their lives would improve (70.6%). Conclusion: The overall quality of improvement and recovery is best characterized as an incremental, yet definitively discernable, subjective process.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health