Distal Support and Community Living Among Individuals Diagnosed with Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder

  • Wieland M
  • Rosenstock J
  • Kelsey S
 et al. 
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Community integration for individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia is essential to successful community tenure. Most of the research and clinical emphasis on the process of integration has been focused on the successes in normative goals (e.g., employment, support networks). Little research has focused on how individuals di-agnosed with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder integrate in the realm of public life involving the casual routine interactions with other community mem-bers, termed " distal support " in this study. This was a cross–sectional study specif-ically designed to develop a measure of distal support and to identify clinical and sociodemographic factors associated with fostering distal supports. Findings suggest that personality factors, specifically extroversion and openness, play a role in the process of fostering community distal supports. It was also found that a greater number of distal supports were associated with higher quality of life satisfaction ratings and sense of belonging scores with the partici-pants who were diagnosed with schizophrenia. A greater number of distal sup-ports were associated with higher hospitalization rates and emergency contacts among the participants diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, but not among those diagnosed with schizophrenia.

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  • Melissa E Wieland

  • Jason Rosenstock

  • Sheryl F Kelsey

  • Mary Ganguli

  • Stephen R Wisniewski

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