BACKGROUND The effectiveness of antipsychotic drugs against positive psychotic symptoms has been demonstrated in many studies, but their effects on quality of life have yet to be clarified. The impact of different neuroleptic therapies on the subjective quality of life of schizophrenic patients is evaluated in a cross-sectional open study.
METHOD During a four-month period a standardised quality of life interview for schizophrenic patients was applied on day 10 after admission; 33 patients on atypical neuroleptics (AAP) were compared with 31 matched patients on conventional neuroleptics (CAP).
RESULTS The AAP group had significantly higher scores in general quality of life as well as in different life domains: physical well-being, social life and everyday life. In separate comparisons of the AAP group, patients on clozapine and risperidone were found to have a higher quality of life score than patients on CAP or zotepine.
CONCLUSIONS The pharmacological profile of clozapine and risperidone may provide a basis for explaining the higher subjective quality of life found in this study. The lower quality of life of the CAP group may possibly be related to intrinsic effects of the conventional antipsychotics.