OBJECTIVE: The study examined whether rehospitalization of patients with
severe and persistent mental illness could be predicted by patients'
quality of life. The predictive ability of two clinical factors associated
with rehospitalization--history of hospitalizations and severity of
symptoms--was also examined. METHODS: A total of 559 patients were assessed
at two follow-up points, two and 12 months after an index hospital
discharge. Patients who were rehospitalized and those who were not
rehospitalized between the two follow-up points were compared on subjective
and objective quality of life, symptom severity at first follow-up, and
previous rehospitalization. Multivariate analysis was used to determine the
best predictors of rehospitalization. RESULTS: Compared with patients who
were not rehospitalized, those who were rehospitalized had more severe
symptoms and were more likely to have a history of hospitalization.
Rehospitalized patients reported more dissatisfaction with family relations
and were more likely to report an arrest in the past two months. The two
groups did not differ in other quality-of-life domains and in global
quality of life. CONCLUSIONS: The best predictors of rehospitalization were
previous rehospitalization, more severe symptoms, and dissatisfaction with
family relations. Interventions should promote positive relationships
between patients with severe mental illness and their families to reduce
the risk of relapse and rehospitalization.