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Open Access Research article

Attitudes towards the administration of long-acting antipsychotics: a survey of physicians and nurses

Paul Geerts1, Guadalupe Martinez2 and Andreas Schreiner3*

Author Affiliations

1 Janssen, Antwerpseweg 15-17, Beerse, 2340, Belgium

2 Janssen, Paseo de las doce estrellas 5-7, Madrid, 28042, Spain

3 Janssen, Johnson & Johnson Platz 5a, Neuss, D-41470, Germany

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BMC Psychiatry 2013, 13:58  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-13-58

Published: 17 February 2013

Abstract

Background

Discontinuation of antipsychotic treatment for schizophrenia can interrupt improvement and exacerbate the illness. Reasons for discontinuing treatment are multifactorial and include adherence, efficacy and tolerability issues. Poor adherence may be addressed through non-pharmacological approaches as well as through pharmacological ones, ie ensured delivery of medication, such as that achieved with long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotics. However, attitudes of healthcare professionals (HCPs) towards LAI antipsychotics may influence their prescribing decisions and may influence medication choices offered to patients. We therefore conducted a survey to investigate factors driving LAI use as well as physician and nurse attitudes to LAI antipsychotics and to different injection sites.

Methods

An independent market research agency conducted the survey of HCPs across Europe. Participants were recruited by telephone and completed the survey online. Using conjoint analyses (a multivariate statistical technique analysing preferences on the basis of ranking a limited number of attributes which are presented repetitively), attitudes to oral versus LAI medication and gluteal versus deltoid injection routes were assessed.

Results

A total of 891 HCPs across Europe were surveyed. Of these, 40% would choose LAI antipsychotics for first episode patients whereas 90% would select LAI antipsychotics for chronic patients with two to five psychotic episodes. Dominant elements in antipsychotic choice were low sedation but no tardive dyskinesia, no or mild pain at injection and low risk of embarrassment or impact upon therapeutic alliance. Eighty-six per cent of respondents considered that having the choice of a deltoid as well as gluteal administration site was beneficial over not having that choice. Two thirds of respondents said they agreed that medication administration via the deltoid muscle may reduce social embarrassment associated with LAI antipsychotics and most respondents (61%) believed that administration of LAI antipsychotics into the deltoid muscle as opposed to the gluteal muscle may be more respectful to the patient.

Conclusions

In this survey of physicians and nurses, attitudes towards LAI antipsychotics compared with oral medication were generally positive. Respondents considered that the availability of a deltoid administration route would offer increased choice in LAI antipsychotic administration and may be perceived as more respectful and less socially embarrassing.

Keywords:
Antipsychotic; Attitude; Long-acting injectable; Deltoid; Gluteal