To test whether: (1) psychiatrists will prescribe clozapine more often if they can delegate the monitoring tasks to an advanced nurse practitioner (ANP), (2) clozapine monitoring by an ANP is at least as safe as monitoring by a psychiatrist. Patients from 23 Dutch outpatient teams were assessed for an indication for clozapine. ANPs affiliated to these teams were randomized to Condition A: clozapine monitoring by an ANP, or Condition B: monitoring by the psychiatrist. The safety of monitoring was evaluated by determining whether the weekly neutrophil measurements were performed. Staff and patients were blinded regarding the first hypothesis. Of the 173 patients with an indication for clozapine at baseline, only seven in Condition A and four in Condition B were prescribed clozapine (Odds Ratio = 2.24, 95% CI 0.61-8.21; p = 0.225). These low figures affected the power of this study. When we considered all patients who started with clozapine over the 15-month period (N = 49), the Odds Ratio was 1.90 (95% CI 0.93-3.87; p = 0.078). With regard to the safety of the monitoring of the latter group of patients, 71.2% of the required neutrophil measurements were performed in condition A and 67.3% in condition B (OR = 0.98; CI = 0.16-3.04; p = 0.98). Identifying patients with an indication for clozapine does not automatically lead to improved prescription rates, even when an ANP is available for the monitoring. Clozapine-monitoring performed by an ANP seemed as safe as that by a psychiatrist.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2020|
- Treatment-resistant schizophrenia
- Randomized trial
- Nurse practitioner