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Psych Congress  

Patient Preferences Concerning the Efficacy and Side Effect Profile of Schizophrenia Medication: A Survey of Patients Living With Schizophrenia


Eric Achtyes, MD – Cherry Health and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine; Adam  Simmons, MPH – Alkermes, Inc.; Anna  Skabeev, MD – Alkermes, Inc.; Ying  Jiang, PhD – Alkermes, Inc.; Patricia  Marcy, BSN – Vanguard Research Group, ‎North Shore-LIJ Health System; Nikki  Levy, BS – Alkermes, Inc.; Peter Weiden, MD – Alkermes, Inc.

Alkermes, Inc.

This poster was presented at the 31st annual Psych Congress, held Oct. 25-28, 2018, in Orlando, Florida.

Background: A survey was carried out to investigate the relative importance of antipsychotic medication efficacy and perceived side effect burden and their impact on a patient’s decision to take medication.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was administered to 250 patients with clinical diagnoses of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, aged ≥18 years, from five US outpatient community clinics.

Results: Sixty-four percent (n=160) of respondents were male; mean age was 43 years (range:18–72 years); mean weight was 91 kg (range:49–182 kg); and mean body mass index was 30.3 kg/m2 (range:15.3–63.3 kg/m2). Efficacy and side effects were rated as important attributes of medication and as important drivers to take a prescribed medicine (very/most important by 94.3% and 84.0% of patients, respectively). Overall, 88.5% of patients identified the ability to think more clearly as an important property of their medication. Weight gain, physical restlessness, and somnolence were identified as very/most important side effects of current treatments for schizophrenia (61.5%, 60.4%, and 58.9%, respectively). Anticipated weight gain was a strong negative influence on willingness to try a new antipsychotic, with 44.9% and 70.8% of patients declining to try a medication that would lead to weight gain between 3–5 kg and between 5–9 kg, respectively.

Conclusion: Patient-reported outcomes play an important role in drug development. In this survey, specific efficacy and side effect factors were identified as factors that influence a patient’s decision to take medication. It is important for clinicians to assess and incorporate patient-specific concerns in comprehensive treatment plans to maximize adherence to prescribed therapies.

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