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J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2004 Dec;24(6):582-91.

Quality of life outcomes of risperidone, olanzapine, and typical antipsychotics among schizophrenia patients treated in routine clinical practice: a naturalistic comparative study.

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  • 1Sha'ar Menashe Mental Health Center, Hadera, Israel.


Findings in previous studies investigating the beneficial effect of risperidone and olanzapine versus typical antipsychotics on quality of life (QOL) are controversial since they did not adjust for various factors contributing to QOL. To test this assumption in a naturalistic cross-sectional design, we evaluated general and domain-specific QOL scores for baseline data of schizophrenia outpatients stabilized on atypical (N = 78, risperidone or olanzapine) and typical (N = 55) agents. Self-report and observer-rated QOL outcomes of both risperidone and olanzapine with typical antipsychotic therapy were compared across demographic, illness-related, and treatment-related factors using analysis of variance, multivariate analysis of variance, and correlation analysis. No significant differences were found in QOL outcomes of risperidone-treated and olanzapine-treated patients. Both self-report and rater-observed QOL measures indicated superiority of atypical over typical antipsychotic agents after adjusting for daily doses, duration of treatment, subjective tolerability, and adjuvant antidepressants. Lower daily doses and longer antipsychotic treatment were associated with better QOL. Self-report and observer-rated QOL scores correlated positively (r = 0.64, P < 0.001). Gender, marital status, age, education, living arrangement and employment status, age of onset, illness duration, symptom severity, emotional distress, subtypes of schizophrenia, and side effects did not affect QOL outcomes in either group. Risperidone and olanzapine revealed an advantage over typical agents in terms of QOL. Findings suggest that when calculating the beneficial effects of atypical antipsychotic therapy on QOL outcomes, daily doses, duration of treatment, and subjective tolerability may be intervening variables and should be adjusted accordingly to clearly appreciate benefits of atypical antipsychotics.

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