Background: Homelessness is common in persons with schizophrenia. It is unclear how housing conditions and homelessness affect their quality of life and their disability. Aims: To explore the self-perceived quality of life and disability of homeless persons with schizophrenia and of those of persons with schizophrenia living in non-institutional housing.
Methods: Seventy-six not-homeless and 50 homeless persons with schizophrenia were assessed using the World Health Organization's Quality of Life - short version (WHOQOL-Bref) and Disability Assessment Schedule (WHO-DAS-II). Univariate comparisons of the two groups were made for sociodemographic variables, clinical characteristics, perceived quality of life and disability. A regression model was used to adjust for potential confounding factors between quality of life, disability and housing.
Results: After controlling for age, gender, marital status and age of first hospital admission, homeless persons had more positive scores for the quality of life domain 'health', for the disability domain 'getting along with people' and for the total disability score than persons in non-institutional housing.
Conclusion: Contrary to our expectations, the persons in non-institutional housing reported a lower quality of life and more disability than the homeless people. Future research should clarify whether non-institutional housing in and of itself can improve the well-being of people with schizophrenia.