Antipsychotic treatment: experiences of fully recovered service users

Jone Bjornestad, Larry Davidson, Inge Joa, Tor Ketil Larsen, Wenche ten Velden Hegelstad, Johannes Langeveld, Marius Veseth, Ingrid Melle, Jan Olav
Johannessen & Kolbjorn Bronnick

(Journal of Mental Health) – In psychosis, standardized clinical treatment guidelines generally recommend that individuals should be treated with antipsychotic medication in the acute phase as well as throughout the protracted phases of maintenance and recovery (APA, 2006; Kreyenbuhl et al., 2010; NICE, 2014; Sohler et al., 2016). Antipsychotic medication has unequivocally proven effective in acute and short-term treatment (Bola et al., 2011; Leucht et al., 2012b). However, there is a lack of longterm, systematic double-blind controlled studies using clearly defined samples in terms of illness type, severity and duration (Adams et al., 2013; Sohler et al., 2016) evaluating treatment effect.

This has resulted in a call for large-scale independent trials (Bola et al., 2011; Leucht et al., 2012a; Saha et al., 2016) in order to create a new and improved evidence base to sufficiently understand the long-term benefit/risk balance of antipsychotic drugs for different sub-groups of service users (Sohler et al., 2016). There is also a need for systematic investigations of different sub-groups of service users’ perspectives on antipsychotic medication use throughout the course of illness. Such perspectives are necessary to develop clinically relevant hypotheses for the suggested large-scale
trials, and to illuminate implications for different sub-groups of individuals.

Representing a step in this direction, this exploratory study aims to investigate clinically recovered service users’ perspectives on the use of antipsychotic medication during and after a first psychotic episode. This was done by interviewing a sample of 20 first-episode psychosis service users in clinical recovery (Davidson et al., 2008), operationalized as the fulfillment of strict criteria of both symptomatic (Andreasen et al., 2005) and functional (Hegelstad et al., 2012) remission throughout the past year. Between 9 and 21% of service users with FEP achieve clinical recovery (Jaaskelainen et al., 2013), making this a highly relevant sub-group.

Full article (PDF)

Source: Journal of Mental Health

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