Introduction: Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness that usually begins in late adolescence or early adulthood. Current pharmacological treatments, while acceptably effective for many patients, are rarely clinically tailored or individualized. The lack of sufficient etiopathological knowledge of the disease, together with overall comparable effect sizes for efficacy between available antipsychotics and the absence of clinically actionable biomarkers, has hindered the advance of individualized medicine in the treatment of schizophrenia. Nevertheless, some degree of stratification based on clinical markers could guide treatment choices and help clinicians move toward individualized psychiatry. To this end, a panel of experts met to formally discuss the current approach to individualized treatment in schizophrenia and to define how treatment individualization could help improve clinical outcomes. Methods: A task force of seven experts iteratively developed, evaluated, and refined questionnaire items, which were then evaluated using the Delphi method. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize and rank expert responses. Expert discussion, informed by the results of a scoping review on personalizing the pharmacologic treatment of adults and adolescents with schizophrenia, ultimately generated recommendations to guide individualized pharmacologic treatment in this population. Results: There was substantial agreement among the expert group members, resulting in the following recommendations: 1) individualization of treatment requires consideration of the patient's diagnosis, clinical presentation, comorbidities, previous treatment response, drug tolerability, adherence patterns, and social factors; 2) patient preferences should be considered in a shared decision-making approach; 3) identified barriers to personalized care that need to be overcome include the lack of actionable biomarkers and mechanistic similarities between available treatments, but digital tools should be increasingly used to enhance individualized treatment. Conclusion: Individualized care can help provide effective, tailored treatments based on an individual's clinical characteristics, disease trajectory, family and social environment, and goals and preferences.

On the Road to Individualizing Pharmacotherapy for Adolescents and Adults with Schizophrenia - Results from an Expert Consensus Following the Delphi Method

Fusar-Poli, Paolo;
2024-01-01

Abstract

Introduction: Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness that usually begins in late adolescence or early adulthood. Current pharmacological treatments, while acceptably effective for many patients, are rarely clinically tailored or individualized. The lack of sufficient etiopathological knowledge of the disease, together with overall comparable effect sizes for efficacy between available antipsychotics and the absence of clinically actionable biomarkers, has hindered the advance of individualized medicine in the treatment of schizophrenia. Nevertheless, some degree of stratification based on clinical markers could guide treatment choices and help clinicians move toward individualized psychiatry. To this end, a panel of experts met to formally discuss the current approach to individualized treatment in schizophrenia and to define how treatment individualization could help improve clinical outcomes. Methods: A task force of seven experts iteratively developed, evaluated, and refined questionnaire items, which were then evaluated using the Delphi method. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize and rank expert responses. Expert discussion, informed by the results of a scoping review on personalizing the pharmacologic treatment of adults and adolescents with schizophrenia, ultimately generated recommendations to guide individualized pharmacologic treatment in this population. Results: There was substantial agreement among the expert group members, resulting in the following recommendations: 1) individualization of treatment requires consideration of the patient's diagnosis, clinical presentation, comorbidities, previous treatment response, drug tolerability, adherence patterns, and social factors; 2) patient preferences should be considered in a shared decision-making approach; 3) identified barriers to personalized care that need to be overcome include the lack of actionable biomarkers and mechanistic similarities between available treatments, but digital tools should be increasingly used to enhance individualized treatment. Conclusion: Individualized care can help provide effective, tailored treatments based on an individual's clinical characteristics, disease trajectory, family and social environment, and goals and preferences.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1498318
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