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author:("Zhang, zhuoxi")
1.  Cross-sectional survey of the relationship of symptomatology, disability and family burden among patients with schizophrenia in Sichuan, China 
Schizophrenia is a chronic condition that leads to high rates of disability and high levels of family burden but the interactive relationship between these variables remains unclear, particularly in low- and middle-income countries where the vast majority of patients live with their families.
Assess the symptom severity, level of disability, and family burden among clinically stable outpatients with schizophrenia in Sichuan, China.
A total of 101 clinically stable outpatients with schizophrenia who had a median duration of illness of five years were assessed using the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Scale 2.0 (WHODAS II), the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and the Family Adaptation, Partnership, Growth, Affection and Resolve Index scale (APGAR); and their caregivers were surveyed using the Family Burden Interview Schedule (FBIS).
Among the 101 patients, 92 lived with their immediate family members, 74 had clinically significant disability, and 73 were unemployed. The level of disability was associated with the severity of symptoms (r=0.50, p<0.001), duration of illnesses (r=0.22, p=0.028), age of onset (r=-0.22, p=0.024) and patients’ level of satisfaction with family support (r=-0.30, p=0.020). Disability was also associated with the overall level of family burden (r=0.40, p<0.001), and with several subtypes of family burden: financial burden (r=0.21, p=0.040), the degree of disruption in family routines (r=0.33, p=0.001), the effect on family leisure activities (r=0.31, p=0.001) and the quality of family interactions (r=0.43, p< 0.001). Four variables remained significantly associated with the level of disability in the stepwise multivariate linear regression: duration of illness, severity of symptoms, patient satisfaction with family support, and the overall burden of the illness on the family.
Even after adjusting for the severity of patients’ symptoms, patient disability is independently associated with family burden. This highlights the importance of targeting both symptoms and disability in treatment strategies for this severe, often lifelong, condition. In countries like China where most individuals with schizophrenia live with their families, family burden is an important component of the impact of the illness on the community that should be included in measures of the relative social and economic importance of the condition.
PMCID: PMC4117999  PMID: 25114478
schizophrenia; family relationships; burden of illness; disability evaluation; cross-sectional survey; China
2.  The impact of educational status on the clinical features of major depressive disorder among Chinese women 
Journal of Affective Disorders  2012;136(3):988-992.
Years of education are inversely related to the prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD), but the relationship between the clinical features of MDD and educational status is poorly understood. We investigated this in 1970 Chinese women with recurrent MDD identified in a clinical setting.
Clinical and demographic features were obtained from 1970 Han Chinese women with DSM-IV major depression between 30 and 60 years of age across China. Analysis of linear, logistic and multiple logistic regression models were used to determine the association between educational level and clinical features of MDD.
Subjects with more years of education are more likely to have MDD, with an odds ratio of 1.14 for those with more than ten years. Low educational status is not associated with an increase in the number of episodes, nor with increased rates of co-morbidity with anxiety disorders. Education impacts differentially on the symptoms of depression: lower educational attainment is associated with more biological symptoms and increased suicidal ideation and plans to commit suicide.
Findings may not generalize to males or to other patient populations. Since the threshold for treatment seeking differs as a function of education there may an ascertainment bias in the sample.
The relationship between symptoms of MDD and educational status in Chinese women is unexpectedly complex. Our findings are inconsistent with the simple hypothesis from European and US reports that low levels of educational attainment increase the risk and severity of MDD.
PMCID: PMC3314924  PMID: 21824664
Major depressive disorder; Education; Socio-economic status; Symptom

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