A qualitative study of experiences with and perceptions regarding long-acting injectable antipsychotics: part II-physician perspectives.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Can J Psychiatry, Volume 58, Issue 5 Suppl 1, p.23S-9S (2013)


<p><b>OBJECTIVE: </b>In many countries, including Canada, a small proportion of people with psychotic disorders receive long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotics (APs), despite their demonstrated effectiveness and possible advantages for improving adherence rates. Attitudes regarding LAIs among physicians may influence their prescribing practices and thereby contribute to the underuse of LAIs. Here, we report on a qualitative study of perceptions and attitudes toward LAIs among psychiatrists in Canada.</p><p><b>METHOD: </b>Focus groups were conducted with 24 psychiatrists in 4 Canadian provinces. The focus groups inquired about experiences with and attitudes toward LAI APs. The sessions were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim, and transcripts were coded using a hybrid process of deductive and inductive methods. A brief pre-focus group questionnaire was administered.</p><p><b>RESULTS: </b>The pre-focus group questionnaires indicated that psychiatrists in our study prescribed the oral formulation of APs most of the time and had limited experience with LAIs. The focus groups yielded 4 main themes: limited knowledge about and experience with LAIs; attitudes toward LAIs (beliefs about negative perceptions of patients regarding LAIs, personal bias against needles, and consensus about some advantages of LAIs); prescribing practices around LAIs (generally seen as a last-resort option for patients with a history of nonadherence); and pragmatic barriers to using LAIs (for example, cost, storage, and staffing).</p><p><b>CONCLUSION: </b>Several factors may be contributing to the underuse of LAIs and the continuing stigmatized and coercive image of LAIs. Psychiatrists may benefit from better education about LAIs, and from self-examination of their attitudes to LAIs and their prescribing practices.</p>

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