Who wants more social contacts? A cross-sectional study of people with psychotic disorders in England

Helena Tee, Agnes Chevalier, Martin Paul Webber, Penny Xanthopoulou, Stefan Priebe, Domenico Giacco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many people with psychosis have few social contacts which can significantly reduce quality of life. While the symptoms of psychosis are thought to contribute to social isolation, they could also lead to the perception that patients are uninterested in increasing their social contacts or in socialisation interventions. Hence, those who most need support to reduce isolation may be less likely to receive it. Despite this, studies have yet to identify the characteristics of patients who do and do not want to increase their social contacts. A cross-sectional study was conducted with 548 participants with psychosis in community mental health teams across England, covering urban and rural areas. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine predictors of wanting to vs. not wanting to increase social contacts. Content analysis was used to explore reasons. The majority (68%) of participants reported a desire for more social contacts, which was significantly associated with lower quality of life. While people with lower quality of life were more likely to express a desire for more contacts, they were less likely to feel confident in increasing them. Reasons for not wanting to increase contacts were related either to perceived barriers or to feeling content with current circumstances. It may be concluded that people with psychosis who have a lower quality of life and little confidence in socialising have a greater desire for more social contacts. Hence, contrary to traditional beliefs, they are likely to be motivated to engage with support to reduce isolation if it is offered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-51
Number of pages6
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2021

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© 2021 Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy.

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