The intercontinental schizophrenia outpatient health outcomes (IC-SOHO) study: baseline clinical and functional characteristics and antipsychotic use patterns in the North Africa and Middle Eastern (AMEA) region: original article

  • Frans A Korb
  • Cinar Yenilmez
  • Abderrahmane Belaid
  • Mohamed Ghazi
  • Abdel-Naser Omar
  • Istvan Bitter
Keywords: Schizophrenia, Outpatients, Antipsychotic agents, Clinical characteristics, Functional characteristics, North Africa, Middle East, IC-SOHO


Objective: To describe the baseline findings of the Intercontinental Schizophrenia Outpatient Health Outcomes (IC-SOHO) study in the North Africa and Middle Eastern sub-region (AMEA-SOHO)

Method: The IC-SOHO study is an ongoing prospective, three-year, non-interventional observational study of schizophrenia treatment, clinical characteristics and mental health services utilization in two North African and two Middle Eastern countries. The study population consists of non-hospitalised patients who had initiated treatment with or changed to a new antipsychotic.

Results: The baseline findings of the IC-SOHO study (AMEA Subset) appear to reflect clinical practice in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Algeria (N=1, 398). Overall, the patients were moderately to markedly ill and either overweight (46%) or obese (8%) when they entered the study. Functionally, the majority of patients were not involved in social activities, could not care for themselves and were unemployed. Substance and alcohol dependency/abuse was not a problem in this study population. At baseline the majority of patients were treated with typical antipsychotics (oral and depot); and anticholinergics were the most commonly prescribed concomitant medication. Sexual side effects were most frequently reported among the surveyed adverse events. Overall compliance/adherence to medication was good.

Conclusion: The baseline IC-SOHO data highlighted various clinical and functional characteristics and antipsychotic use patterns in a group of outpatients with schizophrenia in a naturalistic setting. Once completed, the IC-SOHO study will add further to this knowledge base.

SA Psychiatry Rev. Vol.7(3) 2004: 27-34

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eISSN: 1994-8220