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Psych Congress  

Assessing the burden of treatment-emergent adverse events associated with atypical antipsychotic medications (AAPs) in Schizophrenia: The Patient Perspective

Ann Hartry, PhD
Clément François, PhD
Pierre Michel Llorca, MD, PhD
Christophe Lançon, MD, PhD
Dana DiBenedetti, PhD
Michelle Brown, PhD

Background: Patients with schizophrenia experience a wide range of adverse events [AEs] associated with treatment. This qualitative study explored perceived burden of AEs associated with AAPs among patients with schizophrenia. Methods: Utilizing spontaneous and probed recall, a comprehensive listing of AEs associated with AAPs was elicited in individual interviews with patients with schizophrenia. Patients were asked to list AEs they associate with AAPs and describe the frequency and burden of each. Feedback on the AEs associated with AAPs and patient-perceived bother were obtained from 4 psychiatrists in a focus group. Results: 17 patients with schizophrenia participated with a mean age of 45.5 (35% female). AEs endorsed by 50% or more patients were weight changes (94%), low energy level (82%), EPS (77%), somnolence (71%), anxiety (65%), cognitive issues (59%), and sexual changes (59%). When asked for the most bothersome AEs, patients endorsed weight changes (41%), anxiety (35%), and low energy (35%). EPS and sexual changes, though common, were less frequently (12%) endorsed as most bothersome. All four psychiatrists identified weight gain as clinically important and "most bothersome" to patients. Sexual changes and EPS were also mentioned by psychiatrists as clinically important and bothersome, but anxiety was not reported by psychiatrists as bothersome or clinically important. Conclusions: Weight gain was endorsed by both patients and physicians as bothersome. EPS and sexual function changes are commonly experienced by patients but not perceived as most bothersome by patients. Anxiety and low energy were reported as both common and bothersome by patients but not physicians.

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