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The present study aimed at answering three research questions: (a) Does shared decision making (SDM) yield similar effects for patients with involuntary admission or incidents of aggression compared to patients with voluntary admission or without incidents of aggression? (b) Does SDM reduce the number of patients with incidents of aggression and the use of coercive measures? (c) Does the use of coercion have a negative impact on patients’ perceived involvement in decision making?
We used data from the cluster-randomized SDM-PLUS trial in which patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder in 12 acute psychiatric wards of 4 German psychiatric hospitals either received an SDM-intervention or treatment as usual. In addition, data on aggression and coercive measures were retrospectively obtained from patients’ records.
The analysis included n = 305 inpatients. Patient aggression as well as coercive measures mostly took place in the first days of the inpatient stay and were seldom during the study phase of the SDM-PLUS trial.
Patients who had been admitted involuntarily or showed incidents of aggression profited similarly from the intervention with regard to perceived involvement, adherence, and treatment satisfaction compared to patients admitted voluntarily or without incidents of aggression. The intervention showed no effect on patient aggression and coercive measures. Having previously experienced coercive measures did not predict patients’ rating of perceived involvement.
Further research should focus on SDM-interventions taking place in the very first days of inpatients treatment and potential beneficial long effects of participatory approaches that may not be measurable during the current inpatient stay.
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.
This chapter presents the authors' interpretation of the core evidence about the pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia. It summarizes the interpretation of the discussion about second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) versus first-generation antipsychotics (FGAs), and which is the best SGA, mainly based on recent systematic reviews and effectiveness studies CATIE. The author interprets the meta-analyses such that overall clozapine, amisulpride, olanzapine and risperidonemay be somewhat more efficacious than FGAs and other SGAs. Depressive symptoms are frequently present in acutely ill patients with schizophrenia and may first improve with antipsychotics alone. Neuroleptic-induced depressive symptoms might be ruled out by anti-parkinson medication or switching to a drug with fewer extrapyramidal side-effects (EPS). Post-psychotic depression may be treated with an antidepressant. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is recommended only as a last resort, but advantageously compared with the other augmentation strategies, it is effective as monotherapy and has a different mechanism of action than antipsychotics.
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