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Title: Pharmacological treatment of ambulatory schizophrenic patients in Belgium
Authors: Hanssens, L ×
De Hert, Marc
Wampers, M
Reginster, J-Y
Peuskens, Joseph #
Issue Date: Jun-2006
Publisher: BioMed Central
Series Title: Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health vol:2 issue:11 pages:1-10
Abstract: ABSTRACT : BACKGROUND : the objective of this study was twofold:1) Describe the use of antipsychotic treatments in ambulatory patients suffering from schizophrenia in Belgium.2) Evaluate to which extend antipsychotic treatment prescribing patterns are in accordance with published treatment guidelines. METHOD : A cross-sectional survey was carried out in 16 Belgian hospitals selected from a sample of 67 hospitals. The hospitals were equally distributed between the north and south part of the country and were representative of Belgian practice. During 2 months, participating psychiatrists were asked to record the medication use as well as demographic parameters of all consecutive ambulatory patients seen at their consultation or attending a day-hospital. Data concerning 1000 ambulatory patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were collected. RESULTS : In Belgium, the use of atypical antipsychotics is frequent (69%) in ambulatory patients with schizophrenia. In the overall sample, 73% receive only one antipsychotic drug. The majority of patients are treated with drugs of only one antipsychotic drug group, either first- typical (29.8%) or second-generation, atypical antipsychotics (53.2%). 15.8% of patients combine different types of antipsychotics. Antipsychotic dosing is adequate for the majority of patients but about one fifth receives a higher than recommended dose as per package inserts. Polypharmacy remains within reasonable limits. The use of concomitant medication varies according the antipsychotic treatment: patients who take second-generation antipsychotics only, receive the least additional drugs. CONCLUSION : Atypical antipsychotics appear to be the first line treatment for schizophrenic psychosis. Psychiatrists working with ambulatory patients are well aware of treatment guidelines and follow them quite adequately.
URI: 
ISSN: 1745-0179
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:University Centre Sint Jozef (-)
Research Group Psychiatry
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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