Functional degradation among community-dwelling patients with schizophrenia can negatively influence their recovery. Given the importance of patient empowerment during recovery, this study examined the mediating effect of empowerment on the relationship between global function and personal recovery among community-dwelling patients with schizophrenia.
This cross-sectional study recruited community-dwelling patients with schizophrenia from northern and central Taiwan. Questionnaires with verified reliability and validity were provided and collected on site by trained nurses. Global function, empowerment, and personal recovery were measured using the Global Assessment of Functioning (developed by the American Psychiatric Association), Empowerment Scale, and Questionnaire on the Process of Recovery, respectively. The causal steps approach proposed by Baron and Kenny and the Sobel test were utilized to verify the mediation effect. The causal steps approach tested the four following pathways (regression coefficients): global function on empowerment (Path a), global function and empowerment as predictors of personal recovery (Path b), global function on personal recovery (Path c), and global function and empowerment on personal recovery (Path c’).
A total of 373 participants completed the survey. After controlling for factors associated with recovery, Paths a (β = .24, p < .001), b (β = .68, p < .001), and c (β = .19, p < .001) were found to be significant; however, Path c’ was not significant (β = .03, p = .452). Empowerment was determined to exert “full mediation” over the effects of global function on personal recovery, and the Sobel test indicating significant mediation (Z = 3.61, p < .001).
Empowerment fully mediates the association between global function and personal recovery. This study suggested that offering empowerment-oriented care services may be more effective than global function improvement in recovery among these patients.