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Open Access Research article

Working alliance and its relationship to outcomes in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of antipsychotic medication

Til Wykes14*, Diana Rose2, Paul Williams3 and Anthony S David1

Author Affiliations

1 NIHR MHRN and Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK

2 Service User Research Enterprise, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK

3 Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK

4 Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK

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BMC Psychiatry 2013, 13:28  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-13-28

Published: 15 January 2013

Abstract

Background

Long acting injections (LAI) have been associated with perceptions of coercion in cross sectional studies but there have been no longitudinal studies of the effects on clinical relationships with newer depot medications.

Method

Randomized controlled trial with (50) participants with a diagnosis of schizophrenia randomized to risperidone LAI or oral atypical antipsychotic medication. The main outcome was the Working Alliance Inventory (WAI) with background variables (symptoms, side effect, social functioning, quality of life) measured before randomization and at two years.

Results

At follow-up (14 risperidone LAI and 16 oral medication) analyses including predictors of missing data and baseline score showed a trend for those on risperidone LAI to reduce WAI score and those on oral medication showing no change. Sensitivity analyses showed (i) a significant detrimental effect of LAI on WAI and (ii) the pattern of results was not affected by change in symptoms over the study.

Conclusion

This is the first study to show that the prescription of depot atypical depot medication is associated with detrimental effects on clinical relationships after 2 years of continual treatment.

Keywords:
Injectable medication; Patient empowerment; Therapeutic alliance; Clinical relationship; Schizophrenia