Factors Influencing Quality of Life of Patients Living With Mental Illness: a Case Study of Mathari National Teaching and Referral Hospital, Kenya
Quality of life is important to all human beings (Fallowfield, 1990) and is an essential element of health. Treatment should improve lives of people with mental illnesses, and a good way of evaluating the treatment being offered is looking at their quality of life. The objectives of this study were to determine the quality of life and its associated factors among people living with mental illness attending the outpatient clinics at Mathari National Teaching and Referral Hospital, Nairobi County, Kenya. The study is significant since the results will be discussed with a view of providing better care and understanding of the mentally ill. This was a cross-sectional study conducted among 384 patients living with mental illness on follow-up at the outpatient clinics at Mathari National Teaching and Referral Hospital. Those who gave informed consent filled in the quality of life instrument, and a socio-demographic questionnaire. The data collected from the instrument was entered the Statistical Package for Social Sciences, version 18 for analysis. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the sample, and. inferential statistics, were also used to assess the relationships between the dependent and independent variables. The results are presented in the form of narratives and tables. The mean quality of life score among the study participants was 327 out of a total possible score of 500. Marital status and income were found to be the only two factors that statistically significantly affected quality of life. In conclusion, quality of life among people living with mental illness was found to be above the midpoint score, but in comparison, still below the norms for the general population. It is recommended that in addition to medical treatment, more effort be made to integrate psychological treatment and support to help improve the subjective quality of life of patients with mental illness.
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