Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Prospective studies were eligible for inclusion. The study designs reported in the review included randomised controlled trials (RCTs), open trials and case series.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies of antipsychotic treatments (both typical and atypical) were eligible for inclusion. The atypical antipsychotic treatments reported in the review included clozapine, risperidone and olanzapine; the typical antipsychotic treatments included thiothixene, trifluoperazine, fluphenazine, haloperidol and loxapine. The duration of treatment ranged from a mean of 11.3 days to 6 months. Dose regimens varied but were reported in the study tables. Control treatments, where these existed, were other antipsychotic treatments or placebo.
Participants included in the review
Studies of children and adolescents aged 5 to 18 years and diagnosed with schizophrenia using ICD 10 or DSM criteria were eligible for inclusion. The participants in the included studies were treated in in-patient or out-patient settings.
Outcomes assessed in the review
The outcomes included in the review had to assess the treatment response using any rating instrument. The rating instruments reported in the review included the Clinical Global Impressions Rating Scale (CGI), the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale for Children, Global Clinical Judgments, Global Improvement and Psychotic Improvement. The side-effects of treatment (weight gain, extrapyramidal symptoms and sedation) were also reported.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
A single reviewer examined all of the identified abstracts.