Rationale: Reducing the frequency of long-acting injectable antipsychotic medication may reduce carer burden. Objectives: To evaluate the impact of reduced frequency of long-acting injectable antipsychotic medication on carer burden in stable patients with schizophrenia. Methods: Carer burden was assessed using the Involvement Evaluation Questionnaire (IEQ) within a 52-week, prospective, single-arm, non-randomised, open-label, international, multicentre study evaluating the impact of transitioning stable patients with schizophrenia to paliperidone palmitate 3-monthly (PP3M) from paliperidone palmitate 1-monthly (PP1M). Results: 159 carers completed the IEQ (mean [standard deviation, SD] age: 54.8 [12.8] years); 52.2% were the patients' parent and > 50% had >32 h/week of patient contact. At baseline, mean [SD] IEQ total score was in the lower range (23.8 [12.6]), reflecting patient stabilisation. At last observation carried forward (LOCF) endpoint, the IEQ total score decreased by a mean (95% CI) of −4.0 (−5.9, −2.1), indicating a significant overall reduction in carer burden (P < 0.0001). The six IEQ items with the highest carer burden at baseline were within the urging and worrying domains, in which burden was significantly improved at LOCF endpoint (P < 0.0001). Exploratory analyses found that higher carer burden was associated with lower functional remission (Personal and Social Performance score >70) at baseline and LOCF endpoint, and with the patient being part of the carer's household. Shorter disease duration correlated with better general health of carers at LOCF endpoint. Conclusion: Reducing the frequency of antipsychotic medication administration in stable patients with schizophrenia by switching from PP1M to PP3M may reduce carer burden.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)