Pharmacological treatment for long-term patients with schizophrenia and its effects on sleep in daily clinical practice: A pilot study
Number of pages
SourceMedicines, 5, 2, (2018), article 44
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectDI-BCB_DCC_Theme 3: Plasticity and Memory; Neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology; Neuro- en revalidatiepsychologie
Background: Pharmacological treatment is still the key intervention in the disease management of long-term patients with schizophrenia; however, how it affects sleep and whether gender differences exist remains unclear. Methods: Forty-six long-term outpatients with schizophrenia entered the study. The numbers of antipsychotics, sleep medications, antidepressants, and anxiolytics were analyzed. Moreover, all patients were tested using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). Correlation analyses were conducted between the medication used and the scores on the two subjective sleep inventories. Results: A large variability, ranging from 0 to 8, in the total number of psychiatric drugs per person was found between the patients. Despite ongoing pharmacological treatment, the patients scored high on the PSQI, but not on the ESS; this indicates that they report problems with sleep, but not with daytime sleepiness. A significant positive correlation between the use of antipsychotics and the ESS score, but not the PSQI score, was found; moreover, no gender differences were found. Conclusions: A large variability exists in the pharmacological treatment of long-term patients with schizophrenia. To date, patients' sleep problems have been insufficiently treated, and gender differences have not been adequately accounted for in the pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia. More and larger international clinical studies are warranted to verify the findings of the present preliminary pilot study before any firm conclusions can be drawn and before any changes to the drug treatment of male and female patients with schizophrenia can be recommended.
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