Factor influencing the duration of treatment with psychotropic drugs in general practice: a survival analysis approach

Williams, P.

Psychological Medicine 13(3): 623-633


ISSN/ISBN: 0033-2917
PMID: 6413995
DOI: 10.1017/s0033291700048030
Accession: 043103444

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There have been few previous attempts to study factors which affect the duration of treatment with psychiatric drugs in general practice. In the present study 'duration of treatment' was regarded as analogous to 'survival time', and techniques of survival analysis were applied to data from a previously published study of psychotropic drug use in general practice (Williams et al. 1982). Methods of logistic modelling were used in an attempt to construct a comprehensive and parsimonious model to describe and predict the duration of psychotropic use. Such a model was found to include the effects of previous psychotropic treatment, social problems, duration of treatment and general practitioner behaviour. The implications of the findings, vis à vis the prevention of unnecessary long-term psychotropic drug use, are discussed.