Jari Tiihonen´s research group

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Real-world effectiveness of psychopharmacological treatment

Nowadays, most treatment guidelines are largely based on randomized controlled trials (RCTs), but also observational studies can give important contribution to evidence-based medicine. The patient populations in RCTs are highly selected, and follow-up periods are short and, therefore, the generalization of RCTs to real-world settings is questionable. Also, studying infrequent phenomena, such as death and suicide, is practically impossible in RCTs. We study the real-world effectiveness of psychopharmacological treatments of psychoses and depression by using nationwide hospital discharge, prescription and mortality registers.

We have shown that in the treatment of schizophrenia, use of antipsychotic is associated with decreased mortality compared with no use of antipsychotic, and clozapine is associated with lower mortality than other antipsychotics. We have also observed that benzodiazepine use is linked with increased mortality, whereas use of an antidepressant or several concomitant antipsychotics is not. In first episode patients, use of depot antipsychotic injections leads to decreased risk of rehospitalization.

Now we are studying the effectiveness of antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and antidepressants in the relapse and suicide prevention in dipolar disorders.

Research Projects

  • Studies on effectiveness on psychopharmacological treatments of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

Selected publications

Effectiveness of antipsychotic treatments in a nationwide cohort of patients in community care after first hospitalisation due to schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder: observational follow-up study.
Tiihonen J, Wahlbeck K, Lönnqvist J, Klaukka T, Ioannidis J, Volavka J, et al
BMJ 2006 Jul;333(7561):224

Antidepressants and the risk of suicide, attempted suicide, and overall mortality in a nationwide cohort.
Tiihonen J, Lönnqvist J, Wahlbeck K, Klaukka T, Tanskanen A, Haukka J
Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 2006 Dec;63(12):1358-67

11-year follow-up of mortality in patients with schizophrenia: a population-based cohort study (FIN11 study).
Tiihonen J, Lönnqvist J, Wahlbeck K, Klaukka T, Niskanen L, Tanskanen A, et al
Lancet 2009 Aug;374(9690):620-7

A nationwide cohort study of oral and depot antipsychotics after first hospitalization for schizophrenia.
Tiihonen J, Haukka J, Taylor M, Haddad P, Patel M, Korhonen P
Am J Psychiatry 2011 Jun;168(6):603-9

[pubmed:22566579 ]

Group members

Meenal BudhirajaGraduate Student
Sheilagh HodginsAssociated
Philip LindnerPhD student, Graduate Student
Heidi TaipalePostdoc
Antti TanskanenProject manager
Jari TiihonenResearch team leader, Professor/specialist physician