Effect of antipsychotic medication on overall life satisfaction among individuals with chronic schizophrenia: Findings from the NIMH CATIE study

Gagan Fervaha, Ofer Agid, Hiroyoshi Takeuchi, George Foussias, Gary Remington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The field of schizophrenia is redefining optimal outcome, moving beyond clinical remission to a more comprehensive model including functional recovery and improved subjective well-being. Although numerous studies have evaluated subjective outcomes within the domain of subjective quality of life in patients with schizophrenia, less is known about global evaluations of subjective well-being. This study examined the effects of antipsychotic medication on overall life satisfaction in patients with chronic schizophrenia. Data were drawn from the Clinical Antipsychotic Trial of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE) study, where participants with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia were randomized to receive olanzapine, perphenazine, quetiapine, risperidone or ziprasidone under double-blind conditions (N=753). The primary outcome measure was prospective change in subjectively evaluated overall life satisfaction scores following 12 months of antipsychotic treatment. Psychopathology, medication side effects and functional status were also evaluated, among other variables. Patients experienced modest improvements in overall life satisfaction (d=0.22, p<0.001), with no differences between antipsychotic medications (all tests, p>0.05). Change in severity of positive, negative, and depressive symptoms as well as functional status each demonstrated a small, albeit statistically significant, association with change in life satisfaction (r=0.10-0.21, p[U+05F3]s<0.01). In a multivariate regression model, change in clinical symptoms and functional status had limited independent predictive value for change in life satisfaction scores (explained variance <3%). These data suggest that despite antipsychotic medications being effective for symptom-based psychopathology, such clinical effectiveness does not necessarily translate to improved general satisfaction with life. Clinicians should be aware that these two domains are not inextricably linked.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1078-1085
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jul
Externally publishedYes


  • Antipsychotic treatment
  • Life satisfaction
  • Outcome
  • Quality of life
  • Schizophrenia
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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