Safer Use of Antipsychotics in Youth

11 Mar, 2019 ,

A current study on the use of Antipsychotics in Youth aims to determine the effectiveness of an intervention treatment algorithm vs. usual care control in a practical clinical trial. The researchers plan to recruit 800 eligible patients in 4 health systems.

Full content

SUAY is a practical clinical trial designed to test the effectiveness of an intervention aiming to improve the targeted and safer use of antipsychotic medications by guiding clinician-prescribing behavior of antipsychotics for children aged ≥ 3 and < 18 years and encouraging psychosocial therapy for eligible youth.

The intervention includes a medication best practice alert in Epic, consultation with a child and adolescent psychiatrist, and extra support for patients and families to improve behavioral health service access. The trial will be conducted in 4 non-academic health systems. Each health system will randomize prescribers to one of two study arms, intervention and control.

During patient encounters, entering an antipsychotic for a potentially eligible patient will cause either the control or intervention medication alert to fire in the electronic medical record. The control arm medication alert will point prescribing clinicians to relevant Choosing Wisely® recommendations. The intervention arm medication alert will inform prescribers that:

  1. Antipsychotics are not recommended 1st line treatment for non-psychotic disorders;
  2. A child and adolescent psychiatrist (CAP) will review antipsychotic usage by youth;
  3. Expedited access to bridging therapy, behavior health navigation, and/or a proactive consultation with a CAP may be ordered.

The intervention medication alert will point prescribing clinicians to both Choosing Wisely® recommendations and to SUAY clinical prescribing guidelines. SUAY guidelines were developed by a national expert consensus panel in a prior phase of the study.

Analytic data will be collected from automated data sources at the health systems. The primary outcomes are percent of children ordered an antipsychotic medication at 6 months of follow up, and total person-months of antipsychotic orders placed for participants during the study period.