Objectives: This study examined psychiatrists' opinions regarding the use of second-generation antipsychotics for treatment-resistant schizophrenia. It then sought to identify factors associated with these opinions.
Methods: A national survey was conducted (September 2003-January 2004) of psychiatrists engaged in the management of patients with schizophrenia.
Results: Among survey respondents (N=431), most psychiatrists (88%) believed that one or more of the five currently available second-generation antipsychotics could improve treatment-resistant positive symptoms after a failed trial of optimal oral haloperidol treatment. Psychiatrists who reported familiarity with schizophrenia practice guidelines were more likely to have high levels of optimism that these medications improve positive symptoms (odds ratio [OR]=3.6, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.4-9.3, p=.009). Psychiatrists who met with a pharmaceutical representative at least once a week were also more likely to have high levels of optimism toward second-generation antipsychotics (OR=2.3, CI=1.4-3.9, p=.001).
Conclusions: Reported familiarity with treatment guidelines and frequent contact with pharmaceutical representatives appear to be associated with optimism toward second-generation antipsychotics.