Anger and functioning amongst inpatients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder living in a therapeutic community

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Aims:This study explored the functional correlates of anger amongst therapeutic community inpatients.Methods:The sample consisted of 44 subjects diagnosed with schizophrenic/schizoaffective disorder who were involved in a community treatment program. Assessment involved administration of the Health of Nation Outcome Scales and the Global Assessment of Functioning as well as self-evaluations using the Social Adaptation Self-evaluation Scale. Psychopathology was assessed with the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale. Angry feelings and coping skills were self-assessed with the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory and the Symptom Checklist-90 Hostility Scale. Multiple regression analyses correlated anger with functioning, controlling for psychopathology.Results:Angry feelings related to self-harm, hyperactivity, physical problems, and to global weight independently from Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale scores. They also predicted interest and pleasure in housekeeping, quality of social relationships and relational exchanges.Conclusions:Results showed that angry feelings were not merely derivations of schizophrenic psychopathology; rather, they were independently related to self-damaging behaviors, to attentional demands towards the staff, to agreement to community tasks and to low quality of social relationships. Indeed, anger was related to adaptation's level in a therapeutic community setting demonstrated by subjects with psychoses and it may represent an indirect measure of their experienced quality of life. Therapeutic and management approaches to anger amongst subjects with schizophrenia are discussed.

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