Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thinking. The usual, on-time care is the primary line of treatment for schizophrenia. However, recent evidence suggests that the use of long-acting antipsychotic medication can reduce the risk of hospitalization in early-phase schizophrenia. The objective of this study is to determine whether long-acting injectable antipsychotics (LAIs) can reduce first-time hospitalization in patients with early-phase schizophrenia.

This randomization study included a total of 489 potentially eligible participants aged 18-35 years with a confirmed schizophrenia diagnosis and fewer than 5 years of lifetime antipsychotic use. The participants were randomly assigned to either long-acting aripiprazole monohydrate (AOM) or usual care. The primary outcome of the study was time to first psychiatric hospitalization.

Of the 489 participants, 225 (46%) had lifetime antipsychotic use of 1 year or less. A total of 52 patients (22%) who received AOM and 91 patients (36%) who received usual care had at least 1 hospitalization. The mean survival time in the AOM and usual care group was 613.7 days and 530.6 days, respectively. Survival probabilities were also higher in the AOM group (0.73 vs. 0.58).

The research suggested that long-acting injectable antipsychotics resulted in a significant delay in time to hospitalization among patients with early-stage schizophrenia.