Social environment and longevity in schizophrenia

Alan J. Christensen, Rachel Dornink, Shawna L. Ehlers, Susan K. Schultz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: The role of social support as a predictor of long-term survival among patients with schizophrenia was examined. Methods: Social histories were abstracted from the medical records of a cohort of 133 deceased schizophrenic patients admitted for inpatient treatment between 1934 and 1944. Two independent raters assessed the quantity and quality of support available in each patient's social environment. Results: Cox regression analysis revealed that higher quantity of social support was significantly related to survival time (p < .05) after controlling for marital status and quality of support. The Cox model indicated that a 1-point increase in the support quantity rating was associated with a proportional 25% decrease in the hazard rate. Conclusions: The present findings suggest that social environment, specifically the quantity of social support available to the patient, may impact longevity in psychiatric populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-145
Number of pages5
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999


  • Psychiatric populations
  • Schizophrenia
  • Social support
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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