Long-Acting Injectable Antipsychotics for Schizophrenia: Sociodemographic Characteristics and Treatment Adherence

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Objective: Long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotic medications are employed universally for the treatment of schizophrenia. This study retrospectively assessed the variables that factor into an individual’s adherence to LAIs.

Methods: The data sample was obtained from the adult ambulatory services of a large general hospital mental health center located in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Reports were run in November 2015 to identify patients who had received at least 1 LAI between January 1, 2014, and October 14, 2015. In September 2016, an additional report was run to collect follow-up data. The sample included 120 women and 178 men, ranging in age from 18–81 years, who received at least 1 LAI during a 23-month period. A hazard analysis for single-decrement, nonrepeatable events was used to assess the risk of discontinuation of LAIs during the study period. Separate χ2 analyses were conducted to assess differences in discontinuation rates for sociodemographic variables, program type variables, type of long-acting medication, and time effects.

Results: The cumulative continuation rate across the study period was 73%. Main effect differences were found in continuation rates for program type (χ22 = 10.252, P = .006), LAI type (χ25 = 23.365, P < .000), and prescribed frequency of LAI (χ22 = 7.622, P = .022). In addition, multiple time-dependent effect differences were found. No significant main effect results were found for LAI continuation rates and patient age (χ23 = 3.689, P = .297), sex (χ21 = 0.904, P = .342), race (χ23 = 5.785, P = .123), or enrollment in involuntary outpatient commitment (χ21 = 2.989, P = .084).

Conclusions: The findings of the current research suggest that medication type, frequency of medication appointments, and program type may be key in increasing and maintaining LAI adherence.

Prim Care Companion CNS Disord 2017;19(1):16m02005