Background: Outcomes for treating depression remain suboptimal, despite increasing medication options. Early work has shown that personalized genomics testing can improve treatment outcomes in many fields of medicine. However, no prior work has investigated the efficacy of pharmacogenetic testing in psychiatric inpatient populations. This pilot study investigated the efficacy of treatment response to pharmacogenetic testing 3 months after psychiatric hospitalization for anxiety and depression.
Methods: Participants (n=75) were recruited for this open-labeled randomized study from a short-term acute care inpatient unit for depression and anxiety. Participants were assigned to control and experimental conditions. The experimental group completed a psychiatric pharmacogenetic assay, following receipt of which the prescriber could adjust the medication regimen as seen fit. The control group received results three months later. At admission and 3 months later, participants completed self-reported psychiatric symptomatology, quality of life, and satisfaction with the pharmacogenetic assay.
Results: Compared to the control group, participants in the experimental group reported significantly greater reductions on a broad measure of psychiatric symptomatology (t(1)=-9.25, X2=4.81, p=.028), substance use (t(136)=4.30, p<.001), and quality of life impairment (t(1)=-13.55, X2=8.31, p=.004). The experimental group did not report significantly fewer medication changes (t(73)=-1.23, p<.221), or greater reductions on specific measures of anxiety (t(1)=-3.75, X2=3.19, p=.074) and depression (t(1)=-2.78, X2=2.31, p=.128).
Conclusions: This open-label randomized pilot study provides preliminary support for the efficacy of psychiatric pharmacogenetic testing in an inpatient setting. Future studies should investigate psychiatric pharmacogenetic testing efficacy in larger samples and account for medication changes resulting directly from test results.
This poster was presented at the 32nd annual Psych Congress, held Oct. 3-6, 2019, in San Diego, California.