Aim of this study is to investigate patients’ subjective experience related to depot neuroleptics treatment in schizophrenia and to compare outpatients treated with haloperidol decanoate to outpatients treated with longacting risperidone.
Forty outpatients with chronic schizophrenia (age range 26- 76) treated with haloperidol decanoate or long-acting risperidone for at least three months were evaluated through the Drug Attitude Inventory (DAI 10) and an open question concerning their subjective experience about treatment. General psychopathology was assessed by the SANS and the SAPS. Demographic data were collected.
Most patients are 41-55 years-old, single and unemployed (Table I). There is a significant correlation (p < 0.001) between total DAI score and score on the item 20 of the SAPS (delusions) (Table II). Data support a positive subjective experience of long-acting antipsychotic medication injected intramuscularly and the notion that patients prefer this treatment to the oral one. Patients treated with long-acting risperidone are younger (p < 0.002), experience less pain during injection, and show less negative attitudes than those treated with haloperidol (Fig. 1).
There is a possible superiority of risperidone long-acting in improving subjective experience of the treatment. Depot neuroleptic treatment should be initiates as a part of a comprehensive package of care that address patient’s clinical, emotional, and social needs.