Though high discontinuation rates for antipsychotics (APs) by patients with schizophrenia are frequently reported, the percentage of patients receiving pharmaceutical treatment for schizophrenia in routine practice in accordance with international clinical guidelines is unknown. Further, it is unknown if these rates are influenced by levels of neighbourhood deprivation or by a patient's age or sex. Our study aims to investigate if inequalities in AP treatment could be observed between patients living in neighbourhoods with the highest levels of material and social deprivation and those with the lowest deprivation levels, between patients from different age groups, or between men and women.
We conducted a secondary analysis of medical-administrative data of a cohort of adult patients in the province of Quebec with a medical contact for schizophrenia in a 2-year period (2004-2005). We assessed the proportion of patients that filled at least 1 prescription for an AP and received adequate pharmaceutical treatment, defined as being in possession of APs at least 80% of the time as outpatients during a 2-year follow-up period.
Among the 30 544 study patients, 88.5% filled at least 1 prescription for an AP, and 67.5% of the treated patients received adequate treatment. Though no clinically significant differences were observed by deprivation or sex, younger age was associated with lower proportions of patients receiving adequate treatment (46% of treated patients aged between 18 and 29 years, compared with 72% aged between 30 and 64 years, and 77% aged 65 years and over).
In Quebec's routine practice, over 70% of treated patients aged 30 and over received adequate pharmacological treatment, regardless of sex or neighbourhood socioeconomic status. In contrast, in patients aged between 18 and 29 years this percentage was 47%. This is a discouraging finding, especially because optimal treatment in the early phase of disease is reported to result in the best long-term outcomes.
Faculty of Pharmacy, 1050 avenue de la Médecine, Université Laval, Québec, QC, Canada G1V 0A6; Chair on adherence to treatments, Université Laval, Québec, QC, Canada G1V 0A6; Santé des populations: URESP, Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec, 1050 Chemin Ste-Foy, Québec, QC, Canada G1S 4L8. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community pharmacists can use medication records to assist individuals who are loyal to their pharmacy in better managing their pharmacotherapy. However, the extent of community pharmacy loyalty among individuals with severe mental illness such as schizophrenia remains unknown.
To assess the extent of community pharmacy loyalty among individuals with schizophrenia and identify factors associated with loyalty.
Using the Quebec Health Insurance Board databases, a cohort study of individuals with schizophrenia who claimed an antipsychotic drug for the first time between January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2005 was conducted. Such individuals were considered loyal to their community pharmacy if they filled all their prescriptions for any drug at the same community pharmacy during the second year after antipsychotics initiation. Logistic regression models were used to identify factors associated with community pharmacy loyalty (measured in the first year after antipsychotics initiation).
Of the 6159 individuals in the study, 57.8% were loyal to one pharmacy. Men were more likely to be loyal (Adjusted OR = 1.29; 95% CI = 1.16-1.44), as were individuals aged 30-64 years and those aged =65 years, when compared to individuals 20-29 years (1.70; 1.48-1.95 and 2.39; 1.97-2.90, respectively). Individuals who filled their antipsychotics on a weekly basis were also more likely to be loyal (1.39; 1.18-1.63). Factors associated with non-loyalty were welfare beneficiary status (0.79; 0.70-0.89), having substance-use disorder (0.69; 0.60-0.80), a greater number of different types of drugs (5-8 types = 0.76; 0.66-0.87; 9-51 = 0.59; 0.50-0.69), and emergency department visits (0.71; 0.60-0.82).
Results suggest that medication records in community pharmacies are incomplete for 42.2% of individuals with schizophrenia. Individuals more likely to experience more severe illness were also those less likely to be loyal. Given the potentially severe consequences of medication-related problems in this latter population, strategies to further improve the comprehensiveness of medication information should be promoted.
Discontinuation of medication use constitutes a major barrier to adequate control of high blood pressure. We examined the effect of an array of potential predisposing, enabling and reinforcing factors on the discontinuation of newly prescribed antihypertensive medications. We conducted a prospective cohort study through a network of 173 pharmacies across Canada where were identified individuals newly prescribed an antihypertensive monotherapy. We interviewed participants by telephone four times to obtain information for a minimum duration of 18 months after entry into the cohort. We analyzed data using a multivariate proportional hazard model. Of 682 eligible participants, 43.3% had discontinued their initial medication at the end of the observation period. Individuals more likely to discontinue their initial medication were those who perceived side effects from this medication [Hazard Ratio (HR) = 1.91; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.47-2.47). Individuals with medication insurance coverage were less likely to discontinue (HR = 0.74; 95% CI 0.55-0.99). Persistence with newly prescribed medications could be improved by selecting antihypertensive medications containing fewer side effects and by lifting economic barriers to drug treatment.
Migration of patients with schizophrenia might influence health care access and utilization. However, the time between diagnosis and migration of these patients has not yet been explored. We studied the first migration between health territories of 6873 patients newly diagnosed with schizophrenia in Quebec in 2001, aiming to describe the pattern of migration and assess the influence of the place of residence on migration. Between 2001 and 2007, 34.5% of patients migrated between health territories; those living in metropolitan areas were more likely to migrate than others but tended to remain in metropolitan areas. Migrant patients were also more likely to stay in or migrate to the most socially or materially deprived territories.
Drug utilization review (DUR) programs are being conducted in Canadian hospitals with the aim of improving the appropriateness of prescriptions. However, there is little evidence of their effectiveness. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of both a retrospective and a concurrent DUR programs on the quality of in-hospital prescribing.
We conducted an interrupted time series quasi-experimental study. Using explicit criteria for quality of prescribing, the natural history of cisapride prescription was established retrospectively in three university-affiliated hospitals. A retrospective DUR was implemented in one of the hospitals, a concurrent DUR in another, whereas the third hospital served as a control. An archivist abstracted records of all patients who were prescribed cisapride during the observation period. The effect of DURs relative to the control hospital was determined by comparing estimated regression coefficients from the time series models and by testing the statistical significance using a 2-tailed Student's t test.
The concurrent DUR program significantly improved the appropriateness of prescriptions for the indication for use whereas the retrospective DUR brought about no significant effect on the quality of prescribing.
Results suggest a retrospective DUR approach may not be sufficient to improve the quality of prescribing. However, a concurrent DUR strategy, with direct feedback to prescribers seems effective and should be tested in other settings with other drugs.
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We evaluated whether cumulative exposure to job strain increases blood pressure.
A prospective study of 8395 white-collar workers was initiated during 1991 to 1993. At follow-up, 7.5 years later, 84% of the participants were reassessed to estimate cumulative exposure to job strain.
Compared with men who had never been exposed, men with cumulative exposure and those who became exposed during follow-up showed significant systolic blood pressure increments of 1.8 mm Hg (95% confidence interval [CI]=0.1, 3.5) and 1.5 mm Hg (95% CI=0.2, 2.8), respectively, and relative risks of blood pressure increases in the highest quintile group of 1.33 (95% CI = 1.01, 1.76) and 1.40 (95% CI = 1.14, 1.73). Effect magnitudes were smaller among women. Effects tended to be more pronounced among men and women with low levels of social support at work.
Among these white-collar workers, exposure to cumulative job strain had a modest but significant effect on systolic blood pressure among men. The risk was of comparable magnitude to that observed for age and sedentary behavior. Men and women with low levels of social support at work appeared to be at higher risk for increases in blood pressure.
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To compare the incidence rates of diabetes mellitus and dyslipidemia in ambulatory first-time users of risperidone and olanzapine.
The database for the Prescription Drug Insurance Plan in the province of Quebec was used as the data source for a population-based cohort study. Denominalized data were extracted for all ambulatory patients who first received an atypical antipsychotic between 1 January 1997 and 31 August 1999. Eligible patients were categorized as taking: no antidiabetic medication; no lipid reducing medication; neither type of medication. Those who started to use an outcome drug (an antidiabetic or lipid-lowering medication) before the end of the follow-up period (31 August 2000) were considered to have developed the corresponding outcome disease. Incidence rate ratios (IRR) (and 95% confidence intervals) for initiating antihyperglycemic or lipid-lowering drug treatment, or both were calculated. Outcomes on risperidone were compared to those on olanzapine.
A total of 19 582 eligible patients were included in the analysis. Relative to risperidone, olanzapine was associated with a higher risk of initiating a pharmacologic treatment for diabetes [IRR: 1.33 (1.03-1.74)], dyslipidemia [IRR: 1.49 (1.22-1.83)], or either condition [1.47 (1.23-1.76)].
Olanzapine seems to be associated with a higher risk of developing diabetes and/or dyslipidemia than risperidone. Further prospective studies are needed to rigorously assess the safety of olanzapine.
To compare mood disorder (MD) prevalence in Quebec in 2006, and compare health services and medication use, mortality and morbidity in patients with MD based on sex and the dwelling sector level of material and social deprivation. The objective was also to identify subgroups of individuals using health services in a larger proportion and having a higher risk of morbidity and mortality.
We conducted a secondary analysis of the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec medico-administrative data. The cohort is composed of adults diagnosed with MD and living in Quebec in 2006. Variables include: physician consultation, medication demand, consultation for substance or alcohol abuse, emergency visit, hospitalization for a mental disorder, and death. Dwelling sector types are defined by crossing Pampalon material and social deprivation quintiles.
MD prevalence in 2006 was 3.06% (177 850 patients), with prevalence in women 1.7-fold with respect to men. Findings show a higher MD prevalence as well as a higher mortality and morbidity rate in materially and socially deprived dwelling sectors. Young men also represent a specifically vulnerable subgroup for many study variables.
Public policies aimed at improving material conditions (income, education, employment) and breaking out social isolation would have an important impact on the population mental health. Public health program development should pay close attention to young men population.
Institut National de Santé Publique du Québec; Québec, QC Canada; Centre de Recherche du CHU de Québec; Québec, QC Canada; Département de Médecine Sociale et Préventive; Faculté de Médecine; Université Laval; Québec, QC Canada.
Canadian Pharmacists are easy to reach. Although Québec pharmacists are not allowed to administer vaccines, they can: (1) promote vaccination, (2) counsel patients on vaccination, (3) sell vaccines and (4) provide vaccine administration by a nurse. Our objectives were to describe immunization services given in Québec pharmacies and assess the potential relation between, on one hand, pharmacy characteristics and difficulties perceived by pharmacists and, on the other hand, vaccine administration. In 2008-09, an anonymous questionnaire was mailed to all Québec pharmacy owners (n = 1663). Among the 1102 (66%) respondents, 90% stated that vaccines were sold, 27% that a nurse administered vaccines in their pharmacy and 44% were planning to offer vaccine administration in the next five years. Three out of four stated they were doing vaccine promotion and 65%, vaccine counselling. Half of respondents said they would be willing to administer vaccines themselves if legislative modifications were made. Recommendations for cold chain maintenance were followed in 23% of pharmacies selling vaccines. Presence of another health professional in the pharmacy, higher number of opening hours, not being located in the same building than a medical clinic and having an agreement to collaborate with a public health unit or a medical clinic for immunization were positively associated with vaccine administration in multivariate analysis. Higher perceived difficulties with lack of demand from patients were negatively associated with vaccine administration. Most pharmacists are willing to increase their involvement in immunization. Collaboration between public health professionals and pharmacists should be reinforced.
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To compare adherence to, and persistence with, antidepressants (AD) in Quebec patients who are covered by private and public drug insurance.
A matched cohort study was conducted using prescription claims databases: reMed, a medication data registry for Quebec residents covered by private drug insurance, and Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec database for Quebec residents with public drug insurance. Patients were aged 18 to 64 years and filled at least 1 prescription for an AD in monotherapy between December 2007 and September 2009 (194 privately and 2055 publicly insured patients). Adherence over 1 year was estimated using the proportion of prescribed days covered (PPDC). The difference in mean PPDC between patients with private and public drug insurance was estimated with linear regression. Persistence was compared between the groups with a Cox regression model.
The PPDC was 86.4% (95% CI 83.3% to 89.5%) in privately insured and 82.2% (95% CI 78.5% to 85.9%) in publicly insured patients and the adjusted mean difference was 5.1% (95% CI 1.6% to 8.6%). Persistence was 51.0% in the private group and 19.7% in the public group at 1 year (P