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Management of early schizophrenia in general practice and the role of dopamine partial agonists

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This education is accredited: RACGP 2 CPD, ACRRM 1 CME PD.

Schizophrenia ranks among the leading 20 causes of years lost to disability worldwide. The lifetime risk of developing psychosis and schizophrenia is approx. 1%, and life expectancy in people with schizophrenia is reduced by approx. 20%. Antipsychotic medications are a cornerstone of acute and maintenance therapy for schizophrenia. Although medications reduce positive symptoms of psychosis, they do not treat the underlying causes of schizophrenia and should be used alongside psychosocial interventions.

GPs play an important role in the management of early schizophrenia, by providing early referral to specialist care and ongoing support to patients and their families. In some situations, GPs may also take a primary role in schizophrenia management. This module aims to improve GP confidence in managing early schizophrenia, including identifying and managing negative symptoms to reduce disability for their patients.

Upon completion of this module the participant should be able to:
  • Explain the early signs of psychosis, the need for early intervention and where to refer.
  • Describe the importance of identifying and managing negative symptoms in schizophrenia to reduce disability.
  • Demonstrate confidence initiating antipsychotic treatment for a first episode of psychosis in partnership with psychiatry services/a multidisciplinary team, or if services are delayed or not available.
  • Understand the role of partial agonists in the management of schizophrenia.
  • Apply this knowledge when prescribing antipsychotics, including partial agonists.

This activity is sponsored by Lundbeck Australia and Otsuka Australia Pharmaceutical.


Content sponsor: Lundbeck Australia
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Components
Management of early schizophrenia in general practice and the role of dopamine partial agonists - education
Management of early schizophrenia in general practice and the role of dopamine partial agonists - evaluation