Nationwide epidemiologic study of atypical antipsychotic use among pediatric population with mental illness in Korea

Hankil Lee, Dong Ho Song, Euna Han, Hye Young Kang

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This population-based epidemiologic study aimed to analyze the prevalence and trends of atypical antipsychotic (AAP) use and identify factors associated with AAP prescribing among children and adolescents in Korea. Methods: Using the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service - Pediatric Patients Sample data between 2010 and 2014, we assessed the prevalence of and secular trends in AAP use; utilization of individual AAP drug based on the type of healthcare services, healthcare institutions, and health security programs; and factors associated with AAP use. Results: The average annual prevalence of AAP use was 417 per 100,000 children and adolescents, which increased by 40% from 2010 to 2014. The major AAP drug of choice has shifted from risperidone (72.70% and 49.29% in 2010 and 2014, respectively) to aripiprazole (11.31% and 34.64% in 2010 and 2014, respectively). Quetiapine was mainly prescribed for inpatients. Therefore, hospitals have 2-3 times higher proportion of quetiapine use than clinics. A prominent difference exists in the prescribing rates and AAP drug of choice based on income level. Patients enrolled in the Medical Aid (MA) program had a higher AAP prescription rate than those enrolled in the National Health Insurance (NHI) program (adjusted odds ratio: 7.78). Moreover, MA recipients were more frequently prescribed with cheaper alternatives, such as risperidone, compared with NHI recipients. Conclusion: AAP has been increasingly used among the pediatric population in Korea. Future studies are needed to identify the causes of this increase and establish evidence on appropriate AAP use. In addition, relevant policies should be developed to ensure that low-income mentally ill children could take advantage of the best available therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-215
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2018, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2018.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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