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Attitudes Concerning Antipsychotic Depot Medication in the German General Population

A Representative Telephone Survey

Schmidt-Kraepelin, Christian, Dr Med*; Engelke, Christina, MSc*; Kahl, Kai G., Prof Dr Med; Cordes, Joachim, PD Dr Med*

Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology: December 2018 - Volume 38 - Issue 6 - p 612–617
doi: 10.1097/JCP.0000000000000957
Brief Reports

Background Treatment of schizophrenia with depot medication has advantages compared with oral medication, and among these include an improved compliance. Despite such advantages, prescription rates in many European countries are lower than 20%. The aim of this survey was to study the attitudes toward depot medication among the German general population. To the best of our knowledge, only selective samples have been investigated up until now.

Methods A representative sample of 754 people were interviewed via telephone by a professional market research and polling organization. The questionnaire queried demographic characteristics, experience with medication, and the treatment of mental disorders. Subjects' attitudes toward medication in general, long-term medication, and depot medication were surveyed.

Results Most (66.7%) of the subjects stated that they would be willing to receive depot medication. Subjects who experienced the treatment of mental disorders were more likely to be willing to receive depot medication. Among the reasons for not using depot medication, “fear of injection” (66.3%) and “more self-control when taking medication as tablets” (48.9%) were stated as the most frequent reasons.

Conclusions This study found a good acceptance of antipsychotic depot medication among the German general population in terms of willingness to receive such treatment. We argue that the clinical practitioners' assumptions that depot formulations would be refused by many patients are unsubstantiated.

From the *Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine-University, Duesseldorf; and

Department of Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Centre for Mental Health, Medical University Hannover (MHH), Hannover, Germany.

Received March 27, 2018; accepted after revision August 14, 2018.

Reprints: Christina Engelke, MSc, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Bergische Landstr. 2, D-40629 Düsseldorf, Germany (e-mail:

The present work was commissioned and financed by Janssen-Cilag GmbH. The funding source had no influence on study design, data collection, analysis, and interpretation of data, and writing and submission of the manuscript.

Copyright © 2018 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.