The authors examined gaps in the use of antipsychotic medications during the one-year period after discharge in an epidemiological sample of 189 first-admission patients with schizophrenia between July 1989 and January 1996. Sixty-three percent of the patients had one or more such gaps, and 51 percent had gaps of 30 days or longer, with an average total time off medication of about seven months. Most gaps occurred soon after discharge, and 73 percent were initiated by the patient. These data, which were obtained before the widespread use of atypical antipsychotic agents, provide a benchmark against which to examine the impact of the newer medications on adherence and continuity of treatment in the critical early stages of schizophrenia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health