Objective: This preliminary study assessed the effects on outpatient medication compliance of converting inpatients with schizophrenia from oral to depot neuroleptic medication. Methods: Subjects consisted of 93 neuroleptic-responsive inpatients with schizophrenia from three New York City hospitals who were part of a one-year prospective longitudinal study of medication compliance. Forty patients were converted to depot neuroleptic medication while hospitalized; the other 53 remained on oral medication. Symptoms, side effects, and medication compliance of the two groups were compared at one, six, and 12 months postdischarge. Results: Inpatients converted to depot medication had significantly better compliance at one month postdischarge. Differences in demographic characteristics, symptoms, hospital site, and baseline attitudes toward medication did not account for this finding. The initial positive effect on compliance waned, and no significant between-group differences in compliance were found at six and 12 months postdischarge. Conclusions: Conversion to depot medication before hospital discharge may facilitate medication compliance during transition to outpatient treatment, but other interventions are needed to maintain compliance over time.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health