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I

Introduction and review of issues discussed in national meetings

Introduction

This paper aims to update the Technical Review presented in the recently published supplement of Current Opinion in Psychiatry entitled The Usefulness and Use of Second-Generation Antipsychotic Medications [1]. As mentioned in the Preface it was produced using four types of material: (1) the results of studies about the effects and side-effects of the second-generation antipsychotic medications (SGAMs)  that became available in the course of the year 2001 and in the first two months of the year 2002; (2) relevant articles and information that, for one reason or another, was not included in  the recently published  Technical Review of the Use and Usefulness of the Second-generation Antipsychotic Meedications;  (3) the results of the discussions on the use and usefulness of SGAMs, organized in a variety of countries by the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) member societies; (4) the comments and suggestions received from individual experts and from members societies that reviewed  drafts of the Technical Review [1].

Structure of the Update

The contributions that were received from the sources mentioned above and from the review of the literature have been used in three ways. Comments on the use of the medications at national level and suggestions about future action, served to produce sections II (Critical review and summary of the evidence base for the therapeutic  and side-effects of second-generation antipsychotic medications) and IV (Recommendations).  Appendix 2 gives a list of experts who were invited to comment on the text of the Review, Appendix 3 lists the organizations and associations to whom the document was sent for review, and Appendix 4 gives a complete list of meetings convened to discuss the review.

Comments about the medications and about their effects and side-effects as well as the new published evidence, were used to produce Section II and appendices 5 and 6. Appendix 5 presents a list of studies that were used in the development of the review and those examined in the preparation of the Update. The way in which the literature was searched and reviewed is described in the introduction to the review. Appendix 5 (Partial list of guidelines and consensus statements developed by institutions, governments or professional societies at national level) is an updated version of Appendix 7 of the first review. Finally, Section III (Other developments relevant to the use of second-generation antipsychotic medications) was developed in response to specific suggestions concerning issues not covered in the first review.

Issues, opportunities and concerns raised in the national meetings and by individual experts

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