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September 1985

Informing Patients About Tardive Dyskinesia

Author Affiliations

From the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1985;42(9):866-871. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1985.01790320034005

• The effects of a formal (written) approach v an informal (oral) approach to obtaining informed consent for neuroleptic treatment were compared in 25 schizophrenic outpatients with tardive dyskinesia. Both groups had significant Increases in knowledge, but only the informal/oral presentation group retained significant new knowledge at two-month follow-up. Overall, patients did not learn the information deemed most relevant for rational decision making about neuroleptic treatment. Younger patients started out with more knowledge and retained significant new knowledge at follow-up. All study patients remained in treatment and all but one remained on neuroleptic regimens. There was no increase in relapse or treatment noncompliance in the study population compared with a comparison group. While information about tardive dyskinesia can be safely disclosed to schizophrenic outpatients, such disclosure is evidently most meaningful when repeated informally in the context of a therapeutic relationship.