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Can J Psychiatry. 2000 May;45(4):376-82.

Inpatient treatment of severe disruptive behaviour disorders with risperidone and milieu therapy.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec.



To evaluate the therapeutic impact of adding risperidone to milieu therapy of latency-aged inpatients with severe disruptive disorders.


The charts of 90 latency-aged patients consecutively admitted to a psychiatry ward were reviewed retrospectively. Fifteen of these patients received risperidone treatment, were nonpsychotic, and did not suffer from pervasive developmental disorder (12 male, 3 female; mean age 9.99 years, SD 1.76). Their scores on the Children's Global Assessment Scale (CGAS) were compared at admission, before risperidone treatment, and at discharge.


All subjects were diagnosed with a disruptive behavioural disorder. Ten (66.67%) had additional learning difficulties, and 13 (86.7%) had pathological personality traits. The characteristics of the sample suggested borderline pathology or multiple complex developmental disorder. Following a mean of 38 days after admission (SD 22.3), the patients received risperidone for a mean of 46 days (SD 28.2) before being discharged. The mean maintenance dose of risperidone was 1.27 mg daily (SD 0.36). Mean CGAS scores increased from admission (21.9, SD 7.0) to before risperidone treatment (26.8, SD 7.6, P < 0.0001) and to discharge (50.3, SD 5.3, P < 0.0001). Only 2 patients had documented side effects.


Low-dose risperidone used adjunctively to milieu therapy led to statistically and clinically significant additional improvement in the functioning of hospitalized latency-aged children with severe behavioural disorders. Low-dose risperidone is a safe and effective adjunct to milieu therapy for treating this population in inpatient settings. Prospective randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm these findings.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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