Published online by Cambridge University Press: 17 February 2021
Antipsychotics are widely used for treating patients with psychosis, and target threshold psychotic symptoms. Individuals at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis are characterized by subthreshold psychotic symptoms. It is currently unclear who might benefit from antipsychotic treatment. Our objective was to apply a risk calculator (RC) to identify people that would benefit from antipsychotics.
Drawing on 400 CHR individuals recruited between 2011 and 2016, 208 individuals who received antipsychotic treatment were included. Clinical and cognitive variables were entered into an individualized RC for psychosis; personal risk was estimated and 4 risk components (negative symptoms-RC-NS, general function-RC-GF, cognitive performance-RC-CP, and positive symptoms-RC-PS) were constructed. The sample was further stratified according to the risk level. Higher risk was defined based on the estimated risk score (20% or higher).
In total, 208 CHR individuals received daily antipsychotic treatment of an olanzapine-equivalent dose of 8.7 mg with a mean administration duration of 58.4 weeks. Of these, 39 (18.8%) developed psychosis within 2 years. A new index of factors ratio (FR), which was derived from the ratio of RC-PS plus RC-GF to RC-NS plus RC-CP, was generated. In the higher-risk group, as FR increased, the conversion rate decreased. A small group (15%) of CHR individuals at higher-risk and an FR >1 benefitted from the antipsychotic treatment.
Through applying a personal risk assessment, the administration of antipsychotics should be limited to CHR individuals with predominantly positive symptoms and related function decline. A strict antipsychotic prescription strategy should be introduced to reduce inappropriate use.
These authors contributed equally and share senior authorship.