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Attitudes toward long-acting injectable antipsychotics among patients with schizophrenia in Japan

Authors Sugawara N, Kudo S, Ishioka M, Sato Y, Kubo K, Yasui-Furukori N

Received 21 September 2018

Accepted for publication 30 November 2018

Published 9 January 2019 Volume 2019:15 Pages 205—211


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Taro Kishi

Norio Sugawara,1,2 Shuhei Kudo,2 Masamichi Ishioka,3 Yasushi Sato,2,4 Kazutoshi Kubo,3 Norio Yasui-Furukori2

1Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Translational Medical Center, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Kodaira, Japan; 2Department of Neuropsychiatry, Hirosaki University School of Medicine, Hirosaki, Japan; 3Department of Psychiatry, Hirosaki-Aiseikai Hospital, Hirosaki, Japan; 4Department of Psychiatry, Seihoku-Chuoh Hospital, Goshogawara, Japan

Long-acting injectable antipsychotics (LAIs) are regarded as an important alternative to oral medication for patients with schizophrenia. However, LAIs remain underutilized in clinical practice.
Aims: The aims of this investigation were to 1) obtain information on patients’ attitudes toward LAIs and 2) assess factors associated with patients’ acceptance of LAIs, and 3) identify predictors of the discrepancy between patients and referring psychiatrists’ opinions regarding the appropriateness for LAIs.
Methods: Anonymized data were collected from a questionnaire distributed to 159 patients with schizophrenia and their referring psychiatrists at three psychiatric hospitals between February 2014 and July 2014. The patients completed an original questionnaire developed to evaluate their attitudes regarding LAIs. Regarding the appropriateness of LAI prescription, patients and their referring psychiatrists were asked to rate, on a 5-point scale, how appropriate they felt the depot prescription was for the patients. The participants also answered instruments to assess symptom severity, antipsychotic-induced extrapyramidal symptoms, functions, quality of life, and self-esteem levels.
Results: Patients currently on LAIs have favorable attitudes toward LAIs with respect to side effects, relapse prevention, efficacy, pain, and cost. Expectation of relapse prevention was significantly associated with patients’ acceptance of LAIs (answering that those drugs are appropriate for their own treatment). In addition, the discrepancy between the patients’ and referring psychiatrists’ opinions regarding the appropriateness of LAI treatment was significantly associated with symptom severity, expectation of relapse prevention, belief that LAIs are painful, and belief that LAIs offer a reduced range of antipsychotic choices.
Conclusion: Attitudes toward LAIs need to be considered when deciding whether to prescribe this formulation. Access to information on LAIs, including their benefit in relapse prevention, might enhance the acceptance and use of this formulation among patients with schizophrenia.

adherence, long-acting injectable antipsychotics, schizophrenia, attitude, Japanese

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