Table 1

Demographic and diagnostic features of the studies comparing benzodiazepines, classic antipsychotics, and the combination of both in the treatment of acute agitation

Mean baseline agitation score SDSample size male/femaleAge meana–medianb SDc/ranged
Source/yearCombCl ApsBenzAssessment scaleCombCl ApsBenzCombCl ApsBenzFinal diagnostic impression (in the order of frequency)
*Numeric data are estimated from the graphic presentation. Comb, combination treatment; Cl Aps, classic antipsychotic; benz, benzodiazepine. BPRS, brief psychiatric rating scale (11 selected item: hostility, suspiciousness, uncooperativeness, unusual thought content, disorganised conceptualisation, hallucinatory behaviour, grandiosity, anxiety, excitement, tension, mannerisms/posturing); VAS, visual analogue scale for agitation (100 mm); OAS, overt aggression scale; BPRS, brief psychiatric rating scale (psychoticism subscale: suspiciousness, conceptual disorganisation, hallucinatory behaviour, uncooperativeness, unusual thought content, and excitement); BPRS, brief psychiatric rating scale; IMPS, inpatient multidimensional psychiatric scale (manic symptoms subscale: motor overactivity, elevated mood, pressure of speech, logorrhea and insight); Sch, schizophrenia. †Authors have indicated that the distributions of age ranges were comparable across the three treatment groups and were similar to the age range in their pilot study (17–52 years; median age of 31 years).
Battaglia/199749*46.7*50.6*BPRS25/725/1023/834.4a34.3a33.9aSchizophrenia, psychosis NOS, psychoactive substance use, mania, schizophreniform disorder
Not statedNot statedNot stated(11 selected item)18–54d18–56d19–57d
GarzaTrevino/ 1989Median baseline scoreVAS15/99/1217/6Not stated†Not stated†Not stated†Mania, schizophrenia, atypical psychosis, miscellaneous diagnosis
Bieniek/19985.2*5.5*OAS5/48/341b35bMania, psychosis NOS, Sch paranoid, substance induced, brief reactive psychosis, Sch undifferentiated
Not statedNot stated18–50d18–50d
Barbea/199218.518.1BPRS8/63/1133.4a32.5aSchizophrenic patients in psychotic relapse
6.83.5(Psychoticism subscale)5.8c6.2c
Dorevitch/199949.045.4BPRS5/88/736.8a34.9aSchizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder
Chouinard/ 199316.616.8IMPS manic symptoms subscale4/46/234.6a35.3aBipolar disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, brief reactive psychosis
Salzman/19917.19.0OASNot statedNot stated37.9a30.5aSchizophrenia, other (psychotic depression, personality dis, deferred), bipolar disorder, organic mental disorder, schizoaffective disorder
Not statedNot statedNot statedNot stated
Richards/19985.65.3Sedation scale score
 (6 point)62/4063/3733.2a34.6aMethamphetamine toxicity, cocaine toxicity, psychiatric illness, ethanol withdrawal
Foster/199761.560.4BPRS14/612/542.4a41.4aSchizophrenia, bipolar disorder, psychotic disorder NOS, schizoaffective disorder
Wyant/1990Not statedNot statedNo baseline evaluation5/05/043.4a35.6aChronic undifferentiated schizophrenia, chronic paranoid schizophrenia
Richards/19975.55.1Sedation scale score46/2652/2234.6a32.3aMethamphetamine toxicity
0.60.7(6 point)10.5c10.2c