Background: Tardive dyskinesia (TD), an often-irreversible movement disorder typically caused by exposure to antipsychotics, most commonly affects the face, mouth, and tongue, and may be debilitating.
Objective: To investigate TD burden on patients’ quality of life and functionality.
Methods: Adults with clinician-confirmed schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depressive disorder participated in an observational study. Approximately half (47%) of participants had a clinician-confirmed TD diagnosis. Participants completed the SF-12v2 Health Survey® (SF-12v2), Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire Short Form (Q-LES-Q-SF), social withdrawal subscale of the Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness scale (SW-ISMI), and rated the severity of their TD symptoms. Group differences in SF-12v2 physical and mental component summaries (PCS and MCS), Q-LES-Q-SF, and SW-ISMI scores were analyzed.
Results: TD (n=79) and non-TD (n=90) groups were similar in age; gender; and number of patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder. TD patients reported significantly worse scores on PCS (P=0.003), Q-LES-Q-SF (P<0.001) and SW-ISMI (P<0.001) than non-TD patients. The difference in PCS exceeded the established minimal clinically important difference (MCID) of 3 points. When stratified by TD severity, those with more severe symptoms had significantly worse Q-LES-Q-SF (P<0.001) and SW-ISMI (P=0.006) scores than those with less severe symptoms. Differences in PCS (P=0.12) and MCS (P=0.89) were in the expected direction and exceeded the MCID.
Conclusions: Among patients with psychiatric disorders, TD is associated with significant physical health burden and incremental mental health burden. TD severity is also associated with lower overall quality of life and greater social withdrawal.