198707 Predictors of Quality of Life and Psychopathology among those with a Mental Illness: The Differential Role of Life Events and Daily Hassles

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 5:30 PM

Kelly MacArthur, MA , Department of Sociology, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Richard E. Adams, PhD , Department of Sociology, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Evelyn Bromet, PhD , Dept. of Psychiatry, Stony Brook Univeristy School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY
BACKGROUND. Over the last 30 years, objective and subjective quality of life (QOL) indicators have been used as outcome measures for programs intended to treat persons suffering from a severe mental illness. More than three decades of mental health research demonstrates the importance of stress in understanding people's well-being and the occurrence of psychiatric symptoms/disorders.

OBJECTIVE. The current research analyzes the direct and interactive effects of two types of stressors, positive/negative life events and daily hassles, on objective and subjective QOL. This study also examines how the effects of life events and daily hassles operate through psychopathological symptoms (SANS and SAPS).

METHODS. The sample consists of approximately 645 individuals admitted to one of 12 psychiatric facilities in Suffolk County New York, between 1989 and 1995 and subsequently given a consensus diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, or other DSM-IV diagnoses. Follow-up interviews were conducted at 6-, 24- and 48-month intervals after baseline. For the current analysis, we focus on the 6 and 24-month survey data.

RESULTS. Structural equation model results show that, controlling for diagnosis and sociodemographic variables, objective/subjective QOL are highly correlated with psychopathology, life events, and daily hassles. These relationships hold for the 24-month data, providing a robust model of the direct and interactive effects of life events, daily hassles, psychopathology, and objective/subjective QOL among those suffering from a severe mental illness.

CONCLUSION. Implications for policy implementation and directions for future research are discussed.

Learning Objectives:
1) Demonstrate an understanding of how to measure objective and subjective quality of life. 2) Identify the direct and interactive effects of different types of stressors on quality of life among those with a severe mental illness. 3) Differentiate between the relative influence of continuous and discrete stressors on psychopathological symptoms and objective/subjective quality of life. 4) Discuss treatment and policy implications for improving the quality of life among those suffering from a severe mental illness.

Keywords: Mental Illness, Quality of Life

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a Master's degree in Sociology, with a concentration in health. I have been involved in the planning, analyses, and writing associated with this research project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.