Clinical predictors of antipsychotic use in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders: a historical open cohort study using electronic health records.
European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Springer Verlag (Germany)
Copyright © The Author(s) 2015. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons. org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are more likely to receive antipsychotics than any other psychopharmacological medication, yet the psychiatric disorders and symptoms associated with treatment are unclear. We aimed to determine the predictors of antipsychotic use in children with ASD receiving psychiatric care. The sample consisted of 3482 children aged 3-17 with an ICD-10 diagnosis of ASD referred to mental health services between 2008 and 2013. Antipsychotic use outcome, comorbid diagnoses, and other clinical covariates, including challenging behaviours were extracted from anonymised patient records. Of the 3482 children (79 % male) with ASD, 348 (10 %) received antipsychotic medication. The fully adjusted model indicated that comorbid diagnoses including hyperkinetic (OR 1.44, 95 %CI 1.01-2.06), psychotic (5.71, 3.3-10.6), depressive (2.36, 1.37-4.09), obsessive-compulsive (2.31, 1.16-4.61) and tic disorders (2.76, 1.09-6.95) were associated with antipsychotic use. In addition, clinician-rated levels of aggression, self-injurious behaviours, reduced adaptive function, and overall parental concern for their child's presenting symptoms were significant risk factors for later antipsychotic use. In ASD, a number of comorbid psychiatric disorders are independent predictors for antipsychotic treatment, even after adjustment for familial, socio-demographic and individual factors. As current trial evidence excludes children with comorbidity, more pragmatic randomised controlled trials with long-term drug monitoring are needed.
Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London
Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Charity
The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1007/s00787-015-0780-7
First online: 15 October 2015