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Original Research

Risk of Arrest in Persons With Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder in a Florida Medicaid Program: The Role of Atypical Antipsychotics, Conventional Neuroleptics, and Routine Outpatient Behavioral Health Services

Richard A. Van Dorn, PhD; Ross Andel, PhD; Timothy L. Boaz, PhD; Sarah L. Desmarais, PhD; Kristen Chandler, MSW, MPH; Marion A. Becker, PhD; and Andrew Howe, PharmD

Published: April 15, 2011

Article Abstract

Objective: To examine (1) arrest outcomes for adults with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder who were treated with first-generation antipsychotics (FGAs) or second-generation atypical antipsychotics (SGAs) and (2) the interaction between medication class and outpatient services in a Florida Medicaid program.

Method: In a secondary data analysis, Florida Medicaid data covering the period from July 1, 2002, to March 31, 2008, were used to identify persons diagnosed with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder and to examine antipsychotic medication episodes lasting at least 60 days. There were 93,999 medication episodes in the population examined (N = 36,519). Medication episodes were coded as (1) SGA—aripiprazole, clozapine, olanzapine, paliperidone, quetiapine, risperidone, risperidone long-acting therapy, or ziprasidone; or (2) FGA—any other antipsychotic medication. Outpatient services were defined as the proportion of 30-day periods of each medication episode with at least 1 behavioral health visit. Survival analyses were used to analyze the data, and they were adjusted for the baseline propensity for receiving an SGA.

Results: Second-generation antipsychotic episodes were not associated with reduced arrests compared to FGA episodes; however, the interaction between outpatient services and SGA episodes was significant (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.68; 95% CI, 0.50-0.93; P = .02) such that an SGA episode with an outpatient visit during at least 80% of every 30-day period of the episode was associated with reduced arrests compared to SGA episodes with fewer outpatient services. There was no significant effect for concurrent FGA episodes and outpatient treatment (HR = 0.81; 95% CI, 0.60-1.10; P = .18). Substance use, poor refill compliance, and prior arrest increased risk of subsequent arrest.

Conclusions: The interaction between outpatient visits and treatment with SGAs was significantly associated with reduced arrests. These findings indicate the importance of concurrent antipsychotic medications and outpatient services to affect arrest outcomes for adults with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

J Clin Psychiatry 2011;72(4):502-508

Submitted: October 5, 2010; accepted January 14, 2011 (doi:10.4088/JCP.10m06618).

Corresponding author: Richard Van Dorn, PhD, Department of Mental Health Law & Policy, Florida Mental Health Institute, College of Behavioral & Community Sciences, University of South Florida, 13301 Bruce B. Downs Blvd, MHC 2718, Tampa, FL 33612 (

Volume: 72

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