Objectives: To date, no studies have investigated the prescription patterns of mood stabilizers (MSs) in Chinese patients with schizophrenia. This study examined the frequency and sociodemographic and clinical correlates of MS prescription for outpatients with schizophrenia in Hong Kong (HK) and Beijing (BJ), China.
Methods: Five hundred five clinically stable outpatients with schizophrenia were randomly selected and interviewed in HK and BJ using standardized assessment instruments. Basic sociodemographic and clinical data and psychotropic drug prescriptions were collected at the time of a diagnostic interview.
Results: Thirty-four (6.7%) of the patients were prescribed MSs in the whole sample, with 10.2% and 3.2% of the HK and BJ samples, respectively. Use of MSs was associated with a history of violence, number of admissions, and severity of extrapyramidal side effects. In multiple logistic regression analysis, number of admissions, study site, sex, and length of illness were significantly associated with MSs.
Conclusions: Although the ethnic and clinical characteristics of the 2 samples were nearly identical, there was a wide variation in the frequency of MS prescriptions between HK and BJ.