The main objective of this study was to compare clinical and functional outcomes of patients with schizophrenia in Italy and Sweden with a special focus on daily functioning performance and real life milestones. Also, to study if outcome is to be regarded as a consequence of premorbid function, the level of symptom control and functional capacity or if other influences, such as cultural differences, must parallel be considered.
Ninety-five patients from three centres, Milan and Naples in Italy and Trollhattan in Sweden were investigated. The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale and the UCSD Performance-Based Skills Assessment - Brief version were used together with patients' school history and their status of accommodation and occupation.
Patients in Trollhattan were more likely to live independently and patients in Naples to have a work or take part in education. Differences in symptoms and the performance test were present but subtle.
Differences in real life milestones were not explained by corresponding differences in symptoms, premorbid function or the performance-based test. It is therefore not appropriate only to present functional outcome as an expression of how successful treatment has been.