Education on schizophrenia management should focus more on the benefits of newer therapies, strategies to ease the patient transition from oral treatments, and ways to decrease key barriers, and less on the knowledge of long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotics, according to study results presented in a poster session at the Nevada Psychiatric Association’s 26th Annual National Psychopharmacology Update.
The study utilized an online survey that assessed multiple facets of clinical practice patterns, clinicians' attitudes, and barriers to the use of LAI antipsychotics. The study sample consisted of 379 clinicians who currently manage patients with schizophrenia in the US.
“Although clinicians reported being very confident determining when to begin treatment, selecting treatment, and discussing the use of injectable therapy, they were less confident administering injectable therapy and transitioning a patient to an injectable treatment,” said researcher Greg D. Salinas, PhD, president of CE Outcomes, Birmingham, Alabama.
Respondents indicated continuing education topics related to schizophrenia that they would consider valuable. Among those responses, 38% listed a topic related to new and emerging treatments, and 13% stated initiation or transitioning a patient to LAIs, Dr. Salinas said during the poster session.
Other critical areas written in by respondents regarding barriers to the use of LAIs included insurance, patient perception of injectables signifying disease severity, lack of staff to administer injections, and treatment availability.
“The results of this study suggest that education on the topic of schizophrenia management should focus less on knowledge of long-acting injectable antipsychotics and more on benefits of newer therapies, strategies to smoothly transition patients from oral treatments, and ways to reduce key barriers," Dr. Salinas told virtual attendees.
When asked, clinicians agreed that patients who are nonadherent to treatment and have a deeper insight into their disease are the most suitable candidates for LAI antipsychotics. Conversely, patients adherent to treatment who are well-controlled on oral therapies are the least suitable candidates for LAI antipsychotics.
“Further analysis of data from this study will focus on identifying factors that drive the choice to recommend long-acting injectable antipsychotic therapy and confirming whether the identified barriers and educational needs are similar on a global level.”
Citrome L, Belcher E, Stacy S, et al. Barriers to the use of long-acting injectable antipsychotics in patients with schizophrenia: a survey to understand clinician educational needs. Poster presented at: 26th Annual National Psychopharmacology Update; February 11, 2021; Virtual.