An interview with Dr Javier Labad, Sanitaria Parc Tauli Sabadell, Barcelona, Spain about family matters in schizophrenia and long-acting injectable therapies.
When you know that your patient has schizophrenia – is that difficult for you to give them this news? Why is that? Is it the same with their caregiver?
Yes – it is difficult because we often have to deal with several issues at one time. One of these is of course the stigma that is so often attached to a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Another fact is that patients are often very young when they are diagnosed. It can be hard explaining to these young patients how we can overcome this chronic disease, and that regular treatment can allow them to have a good life.
Involving carers is really important – family is a big thing in Spain. At first the family may not quite know what is happening to them and to the patient. If they can contact the psychiatrist and have some of the behaviours explained to them and understand more about schizophrenia, it really helps.
What role do you think long-acting injectable therapies can play?
They can be really important – one of the main problems is that many patients either forget to take tablets, or don’t like to be seen taking their medication – the stigma again. An injectable therapy is so much easier for the patient and compliance.