Week 7: Therapy for Patients With Schizophrenia

Published by Brenda I. Belcher

Mar 27, 2021

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According to the Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America, approximately 3.5 million people in the United States are diagnosed with schizophrenia (n.d.), and it is one of the leading causes of disability. In practice, patients may present with delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking, disorganized or abnormal motor behavior, as well as other negative symptoms that can be disabling for these individuals. Not only are these symptoms one of the most challenging symptom clusters you will encounter, many are associated with other disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder, and disorders on the schizophrenia spectrum. As a psychiatric nurse practitioner, you must understand the underlying neurobiology of these symptoms to select appropriate therapies and improve outcomes for patients.

This week, as you examine antipsychotic therapies, you explore the assessment and treatment of patients with psychosis and schizophrenia. You also consider ethical and legal implications of these therapies.

Reference:
Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America. (n.d.). About  schizophrenia.https://sardaa.org/resources/about-schizophrenia/#:~:text=Quick%20Facts%20About%20Schizophrenia.%20Schizophrenia%20can%20be%20found,is%20one%20of%20the%20leading%20causes%20of%20disability

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Assess client factors and history to develop personalized therapy plans for patients with insomnia
  • Analyze factors that influence pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes in patients requiring therapy for insomnia
  • Assess patient factors and history to develop personalized plans of antipsychotic therapy for patients
  • Analyze factors that influence pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes in patients requiring antipsychotic therapy
  • Synthesize knowledge of providing care to patients presenting for antipsychotic therapy
  • Analyze ethical and legal implications related to prescribing antipsychotic therapy to patients across the lifespan

Learning Resources

Required Readings (click to expand/reduce)

Freudenreich, O., Goff, D. C., & Henderson, D. C. (2016). Antipsychotic drugs. In T. A. Stern, M. Favo, T. E. Wilens, & J. F. Rosenbaum. (Eds.), Massachusetts General Hospital psychopharmacology and neurotherapeutics (pp. 72–85). Elsevier.

American Psychiatric Association. (2019). Practice guideline for the treatment of patients with schizophrenia. https://www.psychiatry.org/File%20Library/Psychiatrists/Practice/Clinical%20Practice%20Guidelines/APA-Draft-Schizophrenia-Treatment-Guideline.pdf Clozapine REMS. (2015). Clozapine REMS: The single shared system for clozapine. https://www.clozapinerems.com/CpmgClozapineUI/rems/pdf/resources/Clozapine_REMS_A_Guide_for_Healthcare_Providers.pdf Funk, M. C., Beach, S. R., Bostwick, J. R., Celano, C. M., Hasnain, M., Pandurangi, A., Khandai, A., Taylor, A., Levenson, J. L., Riba, M., & Kovacs, R. J. (2018). Resource document on QTc prolongation and psychotropic medications. American Psychiatric Association. https://www.psychiatry.org/File%20Library/Psychiatrists/Directories/Library-and-Archive/resource_documents/Resource-Document-2018-QTc-Prolongation-and-Psychotropic-Med.pdf Kay, S. R., Fiszbein, A., & Opler, L. A. (1987). The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) for schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 13(2), 261–276. https://doi.org/10.1093/schbul/13.2.261 Levenson, J. C., Kay, D. B., & Buysse, D. J. (2015). The pathophysiology of insomnia. Chest, 147(4), 1179–1192. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4388122/ McClellan, J. & Stock. S. (2013). Practice parameter for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with schizophrenia. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 52(9), 976–990. https://www.jaacap.org/article/S0890-8567(09)62600-9/pdf Naber, D., & Lambert, M. (2009). The CATIE and CUtLASS studies in schizophrenia: Results and implications for clinicians. CNS Drugs, 23(8), 649–659. https://doi.org/10.2165/00023210-200923080-00002 Medication Resources (click to expand/reduce) IBM Corporation. (2020). IBM Micromedex. https://www.micromedexsolutions.com/micromedex2/librarian/deeplinkaccess?source=deepLink&institution=SZMC%5ESZMC%5ET43537

Note: To access the following medications, use the IBM Micromedex resource. Type the name of each medication in the keyword search bar. Be sure to read all sections on the left navigation bar related to each medication’s result page, as this information will be helpful for your review in preparation for your Assignments.

amisulpride aripiprazole asenapine brexpiprazole cariprazine chlorpromazine clozapine flupenthixol fluphenazine haloperidol iloperidone loxapine lumateperonelurasidone olanzapine paliperidone perphenazine pimavanserin quetiapine risperidone sulpiride thioridazine thiothixene trifluoperazine ziprasidone

Required Media (click to expand/reduce) Case study: Pakistani woman with delusional thought processes 
Note: This case study will serve as the foundation for this week’s Assignment.
Optional Resources (click to expand/reduce) Chakos, M., Patel, J. K., Rosenheck, R., Glick, I. D., Hammer, M. B., Tapp, A., Miller, A. L., & Miller, D. D. (2011). Concomitant psychotropic medication use during treatment of schizophrenia patients: Longitudinal results from the CATIE study. Clinical Schizophrenia & Related Psychoses, 5(3), 124–134. https://doi.org/10.3371/CSRP.5.3.2 Fangfang, S., Stock, E. M., Copeland, L. A., Zeber, J. E., Ahmedani, B. K., & Morissette, S. B. (2014). Polypharmacy with antipsychotic drugs in patients with schizophrenia: Trends in multiple health care systems. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 71(9), 728–738. https://doi.org/10.2146/ajhp130471 Lin, L. A., Rosenheck, R., Sugar, C., & Zbrozek, A. (2015). Comparing antipsychotic treatments for schizophrenia: A health state approach. The Psychiatric Quarterly, 86(1), 107–121. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11126-014-9326-2


Discussion: Treatment for a Patient With a Common Condition

Insomnia is one of the most common medical conditions you will encounter as a PNP. Insomnia is a common symptom of many mental illnesses, including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and ADHD (Abbott, 2016). Various studies have demonstrated the bidirectional relationship between insomnia and mental illness. In fact, about 50% of adults with insomnia have a mental health problem, while up to 90% of adults with depression experience sleep problems (Abbott, 2016). Due to the interconnected psychopathology, it is important that you, as the PNP, understand the importance of the effects some psychopharmacologic treatments may have on a patient’s mental health illness and their sleep patterns. Therefore, it is important that you understand and reflect on the evidence-based research in developing treatment plans to recommend proper sleep practices to your patients as well as recommend appropriate psychopharmacologic treatments for optimal health and well-being.

Reference: Abbott, J. (2016). What’s the link between insomnia and mental illness? Health. https://www.sciencealert.com/what-exactly-is-the-link-between-insomnia-and-mental-illness#:~:text=Sleep%20problems%20such%20as%20insomnia%20are%20a%20common,bipolar%20disorder%2C%20and%20attention%20deficit%20hyperactivity%20disorder%20%28ADHD%29

For this Discussion, review the case Learning Resources and the case study excerpt presented. Reflect on the case study excerpt and consider the therapy approaches you might take to assess, diagnose, and treat the patient’s health needs.  

Case: An elderly widow who just lost her spouse. 

Subjective: A patient presents to your primary care office today with chief complaint of insomnia. Patient is 75 YO with PMH of DM, HTN, and MDD. Her husband of 41 years passed away 10 months ago. Since then, she states her depression has gotten worse as well as her sleep habits. The patient has no previous history of depression prior to her husband’s death. She is awake, alert, and oriented x3. Patient normally sees PCP once or twice a year. Patient denies any suicidal ideations. Patient arrived at the office today by private vehicle. Patient currently takes the following medications: 

  • Metformin 500mg BID 
  • Januvia 100mg daily 
  • Losartan 100mg daily 
  • HCTZ 25mg daily 
  • Sertraline 100mg daily 

 Current weight: 88 kg

Current height: 64 inches

Temp: 98.6 degrees F

BP: 132/86 

By Day 3 of Week 7

Post a response to each of the following:

  • List three questions you might ask the patient if she were in your office. Provide a rationale for why you might ask these questions. 
  • Identify people in the patient’s life you would need to speak to or get feedback from to further assess the patient’s situation. Include specific questions you might ask these people and why. 
  • Explain what, if any, physical exams, and diagnostic tests would be appropriate for the patient and how the results would be used. 
  • List a differential diagnosis for the patient. Identify the one that you think is most likely and explain why. 
  • List two pharmacologic agents and their dosing that would be appropriate for the patient’s antidepressant therapy based on pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. From a mechanism of action perspective, provide a rationale for why you might choose one agent over the other. 
  • For the drug therapy you select, identify any contraindications to use or alterations in dosing that may need to be considered based on the client’s ethnicity. Discuss why the contraindication/alteration you identify exists. That is, what would be problematic with the use of this drug in individuals of other ethnicities?
  • Include any “check points” (i.e., follow-up data at Week 4, 8, 12, etc.), and indicate any therapeutic changes that you might make based on possible outcomes that may happen given your treatment options chosen. 

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6 of Week 7

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days in one of the following ways:

  • If your colleagues’ posts influenced your understanding of these concepts, be sure to share how and why. Include additional insights you gained.
  • If you think your colleagues might have misunderstood these concepts, offer your alternative perspective and be sure to provide an explanation for them. Include resources to support your perspective.Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses and respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days and

Note: For this Discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the “Post to Discussion Question” link and then select “Create Thread” to complete your initial post. Remember, once you click on Submit, you cannot delete or edit your own posts, and you cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking on Submit!

Submission and Grading Information

Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:Week 7 Discussion Rubric

Post by Day 3 of Week 7 and Respond by Day 6 of Week 7

To Participate in this Discussion:Week 7 Discussion


Assignment: Assessing and Treating Patients With Psychosis and Schizophrenia

Psychosis and schizophrenia greatly impact the brain’s normal processes, which interfere with the ability to think clearly. When symptoms of these disorders are uncontrolled, patients may struggle to function in daily life. However, patients often thrive when properly diagnosed and treated under the close supervision of a psychiatric mental health practitioner. For this Assignment, as you examine the patient case study in this week’s Learning Resources, consider how you might assess and treat patients presenting with psychosis and schizophrenia.

To prepare for this Assignment:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources, including the Medication Resources indicated for this week.
  • Reflect on the psychopharmacologic treatments you might recommend for the assessment and treatment of patients with schizophrenia-related psychoses.

The Assignment: 5 pages

Examine Case Study: Pakistani Woman With Delusional Thought Processes. You will be asked to make three decisions concerning the medication to prescribe to this patient. Be sure to consider factors that might impact the patient’s pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes.

At each decision point, you should evaluate all options before selecting your decision and moving throughout the exercise. Before you make your decision, make sure that you have researched each option and that you evaluate the decision that you will select. Be sure to research each option using the primary literature.

Introduction to the case (1 page)

  • Briefly explain and summarize the case for this Assignment. Be sure to include the specific patient factors that may impact your decision making when prescribing medication for this patient.

Decision #1 (1 page)

  • Which decision did you select?
  • Why did you select this decision? Be specific and support your response with clinically relevant and patient-specific resources, including the primary literature.
  • Why did you not select the other two options provided in the exercise? Be specific and support your response with clinically relevant and patient-specific resources, including the primary literature.
  • What were you hoping to achieve by making this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources (including the primary literature).
  • Explain how ethical considerations may impact your treatment plan and communication with patients. Be specific and provide examples.

Decision #2 (1 page)

  • Why did you select this decision? Be specific and support your response with clinically relevant and patient-specific resources, including the primary literature.
  • Why did you not select the other two options provided in the exercise? Be specific and support your response with clinically relevant and patient-specific resources, including the primary literature.
  • What were you hoping to achieve by making this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources (including the primary literature).
  • Explain how ethical considerations may impact your treatment plan and communication with patients. Be specific and provide examples.

Decision #3 (1 page)

  • Why did you select this decision? Be specific and support your response with clinically relevant and patient-specific resources, including the primary literature.
  • Why did you not select the other two options provided in the exercise? Be specific and support your response with clinically relevant and patient-specific resources, including the primary literature.
  • What were you hoping to achieve by making this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources (including the primary literature).
  • Explain how ethical considerations may impact your treatment plan and communication with patients. Be specific and provide examples.

Conclusion (1 page)

  • Summarize your recommendations on the treatment options you selected for this patient. Be sure to justify your recommendations and support your response with clinically relevant and patient-specific resources, including the primary literature.

Note: Support your rationale with a minimum of five academic resources. While you may use the course text to support your rationale, it will not count toward the resource requirement. You should be utilizing the primary and secondary literature. Reminder : The College of Nursing requires that all papers submitted include a title page, introduction, summary, and references. The Sample Paper provided at the Walden Writing Center provides an example of those required elements (available at https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/templates/general#s-lg-box-20293632). All papers submitted must use this formatting.

By Day 7

Submit your Assignment. 

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