Objective. This study is the first phase of a two-phase study aimed at exploring the perspectives of consumers with schizophrenia regarding quality of life and developing a quality-of-life assessment that addresses factors experienced as important by consumers.

Method. Focus groups were used to explore the perspectives of 35 persons with schizophrenia regarding the meaning of quality of life and factors important to quality of life.

Results. Seven major factors that had an impact on quality of life resulted from inductive analysis, including activity, social interaction, time, disclosure, “being normal,” finances, and management of illness. These factors relate to three overall themes: managing time, connecting and belonging, and making choices and maintaining control.

Conclusions. Although the findings confirm the importance of factors included in existing quality-of-life assessments, they also highlight the need to look at new dimensions of commonly included factors and to include other factors. The findings support beliefs regarding occupation that are central to occupational therapy and the use of occupation as means and ends of therapy.

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