According to the US Department of Health and Human Service, 1991, schizophrenia nearly affects one percent of the population. However, the burden on patients, family members, friends, and community is large. There are several competing and complementary views on evaluation. These views face influences from the approach and what is evaluation focuses on.
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In this context, no view is better than another. They simply seek to address different issues and in different ways. This paper focuses on evaluating some non-clinical indicators for patients with schizophrenia. Assessing the quality of life for a patient with schizophrenia entails diverse indicators. These instruments guide the evaluator extensively in assessing the quality of life and cases necessitating improvement in severely ill schizophrenia patients.
The generic nature of this assessment enables the assessor to establish routine daily activities and living conditions of the patient (Kelly, 2008). The evaluation monitors the living conditions and daily routine activities of the patient. The schizophrenia condition affects the intelligence of the patient. The evaluator should assess the suicidal tendencies, withdraw signs and any signs of harm to patients.
Patients experience depression which drives them to suicidal actions. Factors such as suicide attempts, treatment compliance, drug abuse, withdrawal signs, mental stagnation, and fear should be evaluated in patients. Abnormal self-indulgence behaviors like over-eating, diabetes, smoking, and addictions should also be used in determining the patient daily life and routine.
These issues also form core concerns of health and safety issues of the patient with schizophrenia (Zullino, Waber & Khazaal, 2008). Relations among family members and society also form a basis of evaluation. The essence of evaluation in family relations is to determine the level of support, compliance with medication, knowledge of the household on the condition and empowerment and supports provided to the family and the patient.
The family environment is essential in improving the recovery of the patient. The collaboration between the clinicians and the family is beneficial to the patient especially in administering the daily routines of the patient. The assessor should evaluate issues concerning education, empowerment and support the family receives.
Studies show that not all schizophrenia patients can care and engage themselves socially. The evaluation should capture the social status, income levels and housing conditions of the patients. The evaluator should assess the daily challenges of the patient about work, communication difficulties, creating and maintaining relationships, and school attendance.
The evaluation should recommend the need for improvement to help patients cope with their social life (Greig & Zito, 2007). The assessment will also focus on the financial situations of the patient. The effects of impairments on the patient often comprise judgment and decision-making skills. There are problems associated with malnutrition, poor living condition, and occasionally untimely deaths.
These situations may arise due to the patient’s inability or refusal to cater to necessities. Cases of financial mismanagement are also issues of concerns for evaluation. Therefore, financial capacity becomes a key theme in the assessment of patients with schizophrenia.
Legal aspects of evaluation usually involve committing schizophrenia patient to a mental facility or forced treatment. The laws protect patients who refuse to be hospitalized. Confining a schizophrenia patient in a mental health facility should be limited to a given period of times, usually a few weeks. The evaluator should assess cases of involuntary commitment and establish whether caregivers protected the legal rights of the schizophrenia patient in the processes of hospitalization.
Greig, T. & Zito, W. (2007). Improved cognitive function in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 96 (1-3), 156-161.
Kelly, P. (2008). Nursing leadership & management, 2nd edition. Clifton Park, NY: Thomson-Delmar.
Zullino, D., Waber, L. & Khazaal, Y. (2008). Cannabis and the course of schizophrenia. American Journal of Psychiatry, 165 (10) , 1357-1358.