Research: 34% of psychiatrists delay treatment option conversations with their schizophrenia patients

Janssen announces results of pan-European research which shows that a third of psychiatrists (34%) delay conversations about the full range of treatment options with their patients living with schizophrenia. The ‘Open Minds’ survey, conducted among 347 psychiatrists across eight European countries, also reveals that 22% limit treatment option discussions to avoid upsetting the relationship they have with their patients. This may be because the majority of psychiatrists (80%) say building a strong, trusting relationship with their patients is their key focus.

These new findings when considered alongside previous research could explain why many patients living with schizophrenia are not aware of all the treatment options available. In a 2016 survey of 166 people living with schizophrenia, over a quarter (27%) did not think they had been made aware of all options, and a similar percentage (23%) were dissatisfied with their current medication.

The research shows that opportunities exist for both psychiatrists and their patients living with schizophrenia to communicate more openly about treatment options, as on average, both speak for a similar length of time during consultations.

It is vital that patients living with schizophrenia are provided with the information they need to optimally manage their condition and have the best chance to live a full life”, said Dr. Stephan Heres, Senior Psychiatrist at the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Technical University Munich, Germany. “This includes being informed of the different treatment options, each with their respective pros and cons.”

Hilkka Karkkainen, President of Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks (GAMIAN)-Europe said:

The difficulty faced by many people living with schizophrenia when discussing their treatment is either not knowing or understanding all available options. Open conversations between healthcare professionals and their patients are essential to the decision-making process.

Importantly, the findings highlight the positive outlook psychiatrists have for the future of their patients living with schizophrenia. The majority (85%) believe those who remain on treatment can maintain functional personal relationships, and 71% believe those on treatment will be able to lead a full life.

Janssen has a long heritage in neuroscience and is committed to improving the lives of people living with mental illness. Over 60 years ago, Janssen discovered one of the first treatments for schizophrenia, and continues to invest in expanding the treatment options and supporting the needs of those affected by serious mental illness.

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