NYMC Faculty Publications

Clinical Determinants, Patterns and Outcomes of Antipsychotic Medication Prescribing in the Treatment of Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder: A Naturalistic Cohort Study

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Resident/Fellow, Faculty

Journal Title

Journal of Psychiatric Research

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Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences


BACKGROUND: Schizophrenia affects individuals, families, and systems, with treatment primarily being antipsychotic medications. Long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotics are increasingly being used. This study sought to identify predictors of antipsychotic choice, in terms of formulation (LAI vs oral) and class (FGA vs SGA), and clinical outcomes. METHODS: 123 patients who received LAI antipsychotics were diagnosis-matched to patients who received oral antipsychotics. Sociodemographic and clinical factors were extracted from the medical record, including indicators of illness severity. Groups were compared with Chi-Square and t-tests, and logistic regression models were used to identify independent predictors of antipsychotic choice. RESULTS: Patients that received LAIs had longer admissions, more complex discharges, and greater illness severity; however, there were no differences in readmission rates. Independent predictors of LAIs included younger age, being single, and longer admission. Patients who received FGA LAIs were more likely to use substances and be undomiciled compared to SGA LAIs, with the only predictor being older age. Oral FGAs were more likely than Oral SGAs to be prescribed to older and female patients, as well as those with co-occurring substance use, complex discharges, and longer admissions. CONCLUSIONS: Illness severity and duration of illness appear to drive choice of LAI vs. oral antipsychotic medication and FGA vs. SGA. While LAIs were prescribed to patients with greater illness severity, readmission rates were equivalent to those receiving oral medication, supporting the use of LAI in patients with greater illness severity. Rationales for prescribing LAIs to younger patients and FGAs to older patients are discussed.