Physician Patterns of Metabolic Screening for Patients Taking Atypical Antipsychotics: A Retrospective Database Study

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Objective: The aim of this retrospective database study was to determine rates of screening for metabolic side effects by physician specialty in community hospital patients prescribed atypical antipsychotics.

Method: A pharmacy database review identified patients who were prescribed atypical antipsychotics over a 6-month period from July 1, 2004, to December 31, 2004. This list of patients was then cross-referenced with the laboratory database to determine if screening laboratory tests for metabolic abnormalities had been ordered.

Results: 13% of patients prescribed atypical antipsychotics had fasting blood glucose levels measured during the study period. 30% of patients prescribed atypical antipsychotics also had lipid panels measured during the study period. Screening rates varied by specialty of physician. Physicians trained in combined family practice and psychiatry had the highest rate of screening, followed by other nonpsychiatric specialties. Psychiatrists had the lowest rate of screening.

Conclusions: The rate of screening for metabolic side effects of atypical antipsychotics in this community hospital setting was low.

Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2006;8(4):220-223

https://doi.org/10.4088/PCC.v08n0405