Background: Despite the clinical importance of antipsychotic long-acting injections (LAIs) in the treatment of schizophrenia, their use may be limited by patients' reluctance to accept the injections. No studies to date have investigated whether patients are more likely to withdraw their consent to treatment with LAIs than to treatment with oral antipsychotics (OAPs). Therefore, we performed a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to compare the risk of withdrawal of consent between the 2 routes of administration. Methods: PubMed, the Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, and CINAHL were systematically searched. RCTs with open-label or rater-masked design that compared LAIs with OAPs were selected. Data on study discontinuation due to withdrawal of consent and/or loss to follow-up were extracted. Results: A total of 16 studies (4815 patients) that met the study eligibility criteria were included in the meta-analysis. There was no significant difference between the LAI and OAP groups in the risk of cessation of treatment because of withdrawal of consent. Similarly, there was no significant difference in the risk of study discontinuation because of withdrawal of consent plus loss to follow-up. Conclusions: These findings were unexpected and suggest that patients may not be more hesitant to continue LAIs than OAPs after consenting to or receiving treatment. Nevertheless, patients should be provided detailed explanations about the use of LAIs and a support system that encourages them to continue treatment.
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