Objectives: Aim of the study was the evaluation of the effectiveness of the treatment with risperidone prolonged release, the first atypical long-acting antipsychotic in a population of patients with schizophrenia. Methods: The study adopted a six-month, naturalistic, observational, open-label design, and was conducted in a multicenter sample of 27 subjects diagnosed as having schizophrenia according to the DSM-IV criteria. Patients were assessed at baseline and after 8, 16 and 24 weeks of treatment with the Positive And Negative Symptom Scale (PANSS), the Clinical Global Impressions - Schizophrenia (CGI-S) to assess psychopathology and record clinical judgment, the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS), a battery used to test the main cognitive performances impaired in schizophrenia, the Drug Attitude Inventory - 30 (DAI-30) to assess the attitude towards treatment, the Quality of Life Scale (7 items) (QLS) to assess daily functioning and the Simpson and Angus Extrapyramidal disorder rating Scale (EPS) to assess extrapyramidal side effects (Table I). Patients were switched from the previous treatment that was judged as unsatisfactory to risperidone RP 25 to 37.5 mg injections every two weeks for 24 weeks. Results: Repeated-measures ANOVA showed a statistically significant improvement in total score and on all subscales of the PANSS (Fig. 1), in the CGI-Schizophrenia subscales and total scores (Fig. 2), in the total score of the QLS (Fig. 5) and in the DAI-30 (Fig. 4), while the only cognitive measures that significantly improved after 24 weeks were verbal fluency and verbal memory (Fig. 4). The EPS scores of patients with an extrapyramidal syndrome at baseline, decreased significantly, and there was only one new case of parkinsonism during the period of clinical observation. Most objectives declared at the switch time in individual patients, including compliance, psychopathology and tolerability were met after 24 months of treatment. There was only one drop-out not related to clinical or tolerability reasons. Conclusions: This study confirmed, within the limit of an open-label design and reduced sample size, the medium-term effectiveness of switching unsatisfactory antipsychotic treatments to risperidone RP. Besides the improvement in the "classical" measures of outcome, QOL and DAI-30 scores, we confirmed that an effective treatment may improve significantly functional outcomes in schizophrenia and make patients more aware of the benefits and usefulness of an effective antipsychotic treatment.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Italian Journal of Psychopathology|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2009|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Clinical Psychology