Subjective response and attitudes toward antipsychotic drug therapy during the initial treatment period: a prospective follow-up study in patients with schizophrenia

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ObjectiveIn this prospective study, patients with schizophrenia were followed up for 3 months to investigate the impact of sociodemographic factors, psychopathology, change in psychopathology and side effects on subjective response and attitudes toward antipsychotics during the initial treatment period.MethodWe investigated 42 patients starting treatment with a new-generation antipsychotic. Next to the registration of demographic data various rating scales were used: the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), the Udvalg for Kliniske Undersogelser (UKU) Side Effect Rating Scale and the Drug Attitude Inventory (DAI).ResultsTwo patients experienced a first episode of the illness and were neuroleptic naïve, and 40 had suffered from at least one prior episode of schizophrenia. Longer duration of illness as well as the amelioration of psychopathological symptoms had a positive impact on subjective response to treatment. Correlations between antipsychotic-induced side effects and drug attitude tended to be weak.ConclusionOur results emphasize the necessity of improving psychopathological symptoms during the initial treatment period to improve attitudes toward and compliance with treatment.

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