Browsing Doctoral Degrees (Psychiatry) by Author "Chiliza, Bonginkosi"
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- ItemA prospective study of clinical, biological and functional aspects of outcome in first episode psychosis(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2015-12) Chiliza, Bonginkosi; Emsley, Robin; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Health Sciences. Dept. of Psychiatry.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Prospective, longitudinal clinical studies in first-episode schizophrenia have become relatively commonplace over the past two decades or more and have provided a wealth of useful information regarding the clinical presentation, treatment, course and outcome of the illness. However, there remain several unanswered questions. The majority of the studies have been conducted in upper income countries using often costly medication with heterogeneous samples. While the overall outcome of patients showed some progress, there is room for improvement yet. The overall aim of the dissertation was to study the clinical, biological and functional aspects of outcome in first episode schizophrenia in a resource constrained setting. We conducted a prospective, non-comparative, longitudinal study over 12 months assessing the efficacy and tolerability of a cost effective, long-acting injectable antipsychotic (LAI; flupenthixol decanoate) combined with an assertive monitoring program (AMP) among first-episode schizophrenia patients. Efficacy was measured by examining rates of response, remission and relapse, as well as quality of life and social and occupational functioning. Tolerability of our intervention was assessed by measuring extrapyramidal symptoms, and weight and metabolic changes. We also examined the evolution of treatment refractoriness by studying the rates of non-response, and other associated predictor and outcome features. We found high rates of acceptance and adherence to the LAI and AMP. Seventy percent of our patients completed the 12 months of treatment. Treatment response was achieved by 82% of the participants and 60% achieved remission. Although 19% of our patients relapsed, the majority of the relapses were mild and did not require hospitalisation. Patients experienced significant quality of life and social and occupational functioning improvements. We found mild rates of extrapyramidal effects, present in only a third of our cohort. The majority of the extrapyramidal effects were treated with anticholinergics or propranolol. Only 3% of our patients developed transient dyskinesia over the duration of the study. However, our cohort gained considerable weight, with statistically significant increases in BMI (p< .0001) and waist circumference (p=0.0006). Our cohort also experienced significant deleterious changes to their lipid profiles. Of particular concern was the increase in triglycerides (p=0.03) and a significant decrease in high density lipoprotein (p=0.005) leading to a 91% increase in the triglyceride/high density lipoprotein ratio. With regards to emerging treatment refractoriness, 12% of our patients met our pre-defined criteria for non-response. Non-responders were younger and at baseline showed more prominent disorganised symptoms, poorer social and occupational functioning, poorer quality of life for psychological, social and environmental domains, more prominent neurological soft signs (NSS), and lower BMI. At endpoint the non-responders were characterised by higher levels of symptomatology in all domains; poorer functional outcome, poorer quality of life and greater cognitive impairments. They also had more prominent NSS and a lower BMI. The strongest predictors of non-response were prominent baseline NSS and poor early (7 weeks) treatment response. In conclusion, the combination of an LAI with an AMP may be an effective and safe intervention in firstepisode schizophrenia, and may be particularly suitable for resource-constrained settings. The risk of weight gain and metabolic syndrome associated with antipsychotic treatment in first-episode schizophrenia are not restricted to second generation antipsychotics and low-potency first-generation antipsychotics. Ensuring effective treatment for first episode schizophrenia patients is a global problem, and likely to be under-recognised in LMICs.