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To evaluate quality of life and patient preference for schizophrenia treatment in a community based study comparing the use of aripiprazole to the standard of care (SOC).
This open-label, 26-week, multi-centre, randomised study compared aripiprazole with SOC (olanzapine, quetiapine or risperidone) in patients with schizophrenia (DSM-IV-TR criteria). The primary effectiveness variable was the mean total score of the Investigator Assessment Questionnaire (IAQ) at Week 26. The outcome research variables included the Preference of Medicine (POM) questionnaire, the Quality of Life Scale (QLS), and the EuroQoL-5D (EQ-5D). The results from these outcome research variables are the focus of this paper addressing quality of life and patient preference.
A total of 555 patients were randomised to receive aripiprazole (n = 284) or SOC (n = 271). The OC data at Week 26, reported that more respondents rated the study medication as ‘much better’ compared with their previous medication in the aripiprazole group versus SOC for patients (59% vs 35%, P < 0.001) and caregivers (58% vs 30%, P = 0.014). The improvement in QLS total score was also significantly greater in the aripiprazole group compared with SOC – mean change from baseline in QLS total score of 16.21 vs 10.01 (P < 0.001) at Week 26 (OC data set). A greater proportion of patients (93% vs 85%; P = 0.005) in the aripiprazole group had a satisfactory response on the EQ-5D Self Care Scale; all other EQ-5D scores were similar.
The study findings suggest that quality of life and patient medication preference measures were better for aripiprazole than for SOC.
The Antipsychotic Long-acTing injection in schizOphrenia (ALTO) study was a non-interventional study across several European countries examining prescription of long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotics to identify sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of patients receiving and physicians prescribing LAIs. ALTO was also the first large-scale study in Europe to report on the use of both first- or second-generation antipsychotic (FGA- or SGA-) LAIs.
Patients with schizophrenia receiving a FGA- or SGA-LAI were enrolled between June 2013 and July 2014 and categorized as incident or prevalent users. Assessments included measures of disease severity, functioning, insight, well-being, attitudes towards antipsychotics, and quality of life.
For the 572 patients, disease severity was generally mild-to-moderate and the majority were unemployed and/or socially withdrawn. 331/572 were prevalent LAI antipsychotic users; of whom 209 were prescribed FGA-LAI. Paliperidone was the most commonly prescribed SGA-LAI (56% of incident users, 21% of prevalent users). 337/572 (58.9%) were considered at risk of non-adherence. Prevalent LAI users had a tendency towards better insight levels (PANSS G12 item). Incident FGA-LAI users had more severe disease, poorer global functioning, lower quality of life, higher rates of non-adherence, and were more likely to have physician-reported lack of insight.
These results indicate a lower pattern of FGA-LAI usage, reserved by prescribers for seemingly more difficult-to-treat patients and those least likely to adhere to oral medication.