Impact of antipsychotic medication on family burden in schizophrenia: Longitudinal results of CATIE trial

Deborah A. Perlick, Robert A. Rosenheck, Richard Kaczynski, Marvin S. Swartz, Jose M. Canive, Jeffrey A. Lieberman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: This study evaluated the effectiveness of first- and second-generation antipsychotics in reducing family burden associated with schizophrenia. Methods: The family caregivers of 623 SCID-diagnosed patients enrolled in the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE) randomly assigned to a first-generation antipsychotic (perphenazine) or one of four second-generation drugs (olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone or ziprasidone) were interviewed about resources provided and stresses experienced at baseline and followed for 18 months. Patient symptoms, side effects and service use were assessed as well. Hierarchical regression analyses evaluated the effect of treatment assignment on four burden factors: problem behavior, resource demands and disruption, impairment in activities of daily living and patient helpfulness. Intention-to-treat analyses with all available observations classified based on initial treatment assignment, including observations after medications changed were followed by secondary analyses excluding observations after the first medication change, i.e. only considering initial medication. Results: Despite significant reductions on the problem behavior and resource demands/disruption factors, there were no significant differences between perphenazine and any of the second-generation medications. When only initial treatment period observations were included, patients were perceived as more helpful when medicated with perphenazine as compared to risperidone. In comparisons between second-generation drugs, patients on quetiapine were perceived as more helpful than those on risperidone (p = 0.004). Conclusion: In this 18-month randomized trial, there was no evidence of superiority of second-generation antipsychotics in relieving family burden.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-125
Number of pages8
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • Family burden
  • Schizophrenia
  • Second-generation antipsychotics


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