A 20-Year multi-followup longitudinal study assessing whether antipsychotic medications contribute to work functioning in schizophrenia

Martin Harrow, Thomas H. Jobe, Robert N. Faull, Jie Yang

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Abstract

To assess the long-term effectiveness of antipsychotic medications in facilitating work functioning in patients with schizophrenia we conducted longitudinal multifollowup research on 139 initially psychotic patients. The 70 patients with schizophrenia and 69 initially psychotic mood disordered control patients were followed up 6 times over 20 years. We compared the influence on work functioning of patients with schizophrenia continuously prescribed antipsychotics with patients with schizophrenia not prescribed antipsychotics, using statistical controls for inter-subject differences. While antipsychotics reduce or eliminate flagrant psychosis for most patients with schizophrenia at acute hospitalizations, four years later and continually until the 20 year followups, patients with schizophrenia not prescribed antipsychotics had significantly better work functioning. The work performance of the patients who were continuously prescribed antipsychotics was at a low rate and did not improve over time. Multiple other factors also interfere with work functioning. The data suggest that some patients with schizophrenia not prescribed antipsychotics for prolonged periods can function relatively well. Multiple other factors are associated with poor post-hospital work performance. The longitudinal data raise questions about prolonged treatment of schizophrenia with antipsychotic medications.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages267-274
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume256
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

Fingerprint

Antipsychotic Agents
Longitudinal Studies
Schizophrenia
Work Performance
Psychotic Disorders
Hospitalization
Research
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • Employment
  • Negative symptoms
  • Outcome
  • Psychosis
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

Cite this

A 20-Year multi-followup longitudinal study assessing whether antipsychotic medications contribute to work functioning in schizophrenia. / Harrow, Martin; Jobe, Thomas H.; Faull, Robert N.; Yang, Jie.

In: Psychiatry Research, Vol. 256, 01.10.2017, p. 267-274.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

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