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Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2012 Mar;46(3):225-31. doi: 10.1177/0004867411433210. Epub 2012 Jan 5.

Transitioning patients taking clozapine from the public to private/GP shared-care setting: barriers and criteria.

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Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, Monash University, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.



The aim of this study was to explore the barriers to transitioning patients taking clozapine from the public to private psychiatrist or general practitioner (GP) shared-care setting, as well as the criteria used by staff to identify patients suitable for transitioning.


The experience of clinicians managing people taking clozapine was explored through circulation of a feedback questionnaire. The clozapine transition questionnaire (CTQ) was developed as the primary measure following extensive consultation with clinical staff with expertise in clozapine treatment. A total of 215 clinicians were sent questionnaires (60 community mental health service staff, 120 private psychiatrists registered to prescribe clozapine, and 35 GPs from the Bayside Health clozapine GP shared-care programme), with overall 80 (46.2%) returned.


Over 64% of participants had managed patients who had been transitioned from public to private psychiatrist or GP shared-care settings. Around half of these said that it was a 'worthwhile treatment option' and that 'it went smoothly' and 'the patient was satisfied'. The most significant barriers to successful transitioning were the cost of private service, the patient's level of disorganization, and the need for ongoing care coordination. The most important criteria for transitioning patients was compliance with medication, ability to independently attend appointments and access appropriate pharmacies to receive medication, and willingness to transition out of the public system.


Transitioning suitable public psychiatric patients taking clozapine into private psychiatrist/GP shared-care offers an important model to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of care, but requires careful planning, preparation, and monitoring to ensure sustained success.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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