Implementation of international treatment guidelines in the treatment of schizophrenia : a study of the effects of an evidence-based seminar on the knowledge and treatment habits of a sample of international psychiatrists

Joubert, Andre Francois
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Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch
This study reports on the effect of seminar education by studying changes in knowledge, attitude and behaviour to haloperidol prescribing patterns of psychiatrists who In summary, this study demonstrated a direct relationship between seminar attendance and changes to selected minimum effective haloperidol dose and duration of treatment. However, seminar attendance did not appear to be a significant factor in changes to antipsychotic class used for treatment and changes in optimal effective haloperidol dose: rather a change in the level of “background” knowledge of participants was most likely responsible. This study also found individual participant characteristic differences in those who did change treatment duration and minimum effective dose. In conclusion, this study showed that the successful integration of international treatment recommendations into daily psychiatric practise could be facilitated by the use of appropriate educational seminars. Not all attendees benefit i.e. “learn”, but those needing to “learn” most do - i.e. those who need to change their prescribing habits most to meet internationally accepted guidelines. The peer exposure provided allows a format for informed discussion and the practise of evidence-based medicine. The judicious use of such seminars should result in better treatment options and outcomes for patients.attended evidence-based schizophrenia seminars presented by the Lundbeck Institute in Denmark. The objectives of the study were two-fold. Firstly, it set out to determine whether changes actually occurred in the post-seminar haloperidol prescribing behaviour of participants. This was done by analysing changes in choice of optimal haloperidol dose (both in acute treatment i.e. most effective dose and maintenance treatment i.e. minimum effective dose), selected duration of treatment (for first- and multi-episode schizophrenia patients) and drug-class used (conventional versus new generation antipsychotic). The study then investigated whether these changes (if they occurred) could be ascribed wholly or in part to the effect of schizophrenia seminar attendance, or whether other factors e.g. scientific progress over time in understanding schizophrenia and its treatment (“background” knowledge) and differences between participant datasets studied (only paired pre- and post-seminar data were used in this study) also played a role. Secondly, it attempted to identify factors predictive of seminar participants changing their haloperidol prescribing behaviour post-seminar i.e. what were the factors that predisposed some attendees to change their prescribing behaviour? This was done by analysing the effect that pre-seminar prescribing behaviour, participant nationality, patient caseload, work experience and workplace environment had on post-seminar behaviour. Results show that changes did occur in post-seminar haloperidol prescribing behaviour, but that they were not always due to an effect of seminar attendance. Only the changes in the minimum effective haloperidol dose and duration of treatment for first- and multi-episode schizophrenia patients could validly be ascribed to the effects of schizophrenia seminar attendance. Furthermore, multivariate analysis of the factors relating to these changes found that a participant was most likely to change their selected minimum effective haloperidol dose to be more in line with internationally accepted standards if they i) selected above the target dose pre-seminar, ii) had a relatively low caseload comprised mainly of schizophrenia patients and iii) came from either Greece, Germany, Britain, Spain, Italy or some other Eastern European country. The single most important factor related to changes in duration of treatment was found to be pre-seminar behaviour: respondents below the recommended duration of treatment increased their duration of treatment significantly.
Thesis (DMed (Psychiatry))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.
Postgraduate education, Evidence-based education, Schizophrenia treatment, Antipsychotic drugs, Drugs -- Prescribing, Schizophrenia -- Treatment, Schizophrenia -- Chemotherapy, Dissertations -- Psychiatry, Theses -- Psychiatry