The purpose of this study is to examine gender differences with regard to physical activity, psychiatric symptoms, and quality of life in patients with severe mental illness. In addition, associations between the variables are to be explored.
A cross‐sectional design was employed. Eighteen patients, 12 men and six women, were assessed at admission to hospital with the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the WHO Quality of Life‐Bref. Mann‐Whitney U‐tests, Spearman's correlation coefficient, and partial correlation were used in the statistical analyses.
Women had lower levels of quality of life and trended towards being more depressed than men, whereas men had more global psychiatric symptoms. When controlling for depression in the participants, the bivariate relationships between male gender and higher quality of life were weakened. The findings indicate that the initial association between gender and quality of life may be mediated by depression levels.
Women with severe mental illness tend to have more depression and lower quality of life than their male counterparts, and combating depression appears to be important for increasing quality of life in women with severe mental illness.
This is the first explorative study of gender differences in hospitalized patients with severe mental illness.
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