To date no study has compared more specifically the psychotropic medication treatment patterns for patients with schizophrenia living in community between rural and urban areas. This study examined the rural-urban differences of the use of psychotropic drugs among community-dwelling individuals with schizophrenia in China.
Data on 993 community-dwelling patients with schizophrenia (n = 479 in rural area and n = 514 urban area) were collected by interviews during 2013–2014, and 2015–2016 according to the diagnosis of DSM-IV or ICD-10. Data on patients’ socio-demographic and clinical characteristics, prescriptions of psychotropic drugs were collected using a standardized protocol and data acquisition procedure.
Multivariate analyses revealed that in comparison with the rural counterparts, the patients from the urban area were significantly more frequently prescribed antipsychotic polypharmacy, clozapine, and benzodiazepines, but the patients from the rural area had more frequently prescribed anticholinergics.
Substantial variations in psychotropic medication treatment patterns for patients with schizophrenia living in community were found between rural and urban areas in China. Common use of antipsychotic polypharmacy, clozapine and benzodiazepines in urban area, and anticholinergics in rural area need to be further addressed.