Antipsychotic Dosage At Hospital Discharge and Outcomes Among Persons With Schizophrenia
OBJECTIVE: Applying the schizophrenia treatment guidelines established by the Patient Outcomes Research Team (PORT) project, this study evaluated whether antipsychotic medication dosage influenced patient outcomes in routine clinical settings. METHODS: The associations between discharge antipsychotic medication dosage and short-term clinical, social, and service use outcomes were observed in a sample of 246 patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. RESULTS: Patients who were given high dosages of antipsychotic medication at hospital discharge (more than 1,000 chlorpromazine milligram equivalents) had greater severity of symptoms three months after discharge than patients who were given guideline-recommended dosages (300 to1,000 chlorpromazine milligram equivalents) (adjusted mean Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale scores of 45 and 39, respectively). Patients who were given low dosages of antipsychotic medication at hospital discharge (less than 300 chlorpromazine milligram equivalents) were less likely to report side effects (adjusted OR=.24) and slightly more likely to be nonadherent (21 percent of those within the recommended dose range compared with 39 percent of the those with low doses, not statistically significant after Bonferroni correction). No other differences related to medication dosage were observed in patient outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment that falls within antipsychotic medication dosage guidelines is associated with improvement in a limited, but critical, range of short-term patient outcomes in routine clinical settings. (Authors)
Type of Resource:
Psychiatric Services 54(9):1258 - 1263, 2003.