Little is known about the factors influencing treatment choice in psychosis, the majority of this work being conducted with specialists (consultant) in psychiatry. We sought to examine trainees' choices of treatment for psychosis if they had to prescribe it for themselves, their patients, and factors influencing decision-making.
Cross-sectional, semi-structured questionnaire-based study.
Of the 726 respondents (response rate = 66%), the majority chose second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) if they had to prescribe it for themselves (n = 530, 93%) or for their patients (n = 546, 94%). The main factor influencing choice was perceived efficacy, 84.8% (n = 475) of trainees stating this was the most important factor for the patient, and 77.8% (n = 404) stating this was the most important factor for their own treatment. Trainees with knowledge of trials questioning use of SGAs (CATIE, CUtLASS, TEOSS) were more likely to choose second-generation antipsychotics than those without knowledge of these trials (χ2 = 3.943; p = 0.047; O.R. = 2.11; 95% C.I. = 1.0-4.48). Regarding psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) was the most popular choice for self (33.1%; n = 240) and patient (30.9%; n = 224). Trainees were significantly more likely to prefer some form of psychotherapy for themselves rather than patients (χ2 = 9.98; p < 0,002; O.R. = 1.54; 95% CIs = 1.18-2.0).
Trainees are more likely to choose second-generation antipsychotic medication for patients and themselves. Despite being aware of evidence that suggests otherwise, they predominantly base these choices on perceived efficacy.
Keywords: Antipsychotics, Drug therapy, Psychiatry trainees, Evidence-based medicine, Decision-making, Efficacy, Psychotherapy, Psychosis, Treatment