Symptom severity, self-reported adherence, and electronic pill monitoring in poorly adherent patients with bipolar disorder.

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Symptom severity, self-reported adherence, and electronic pill monitoring in poorly adherent patients with bipolar disorder.

Bipolar Disord. 2015 Sep;17(6):653-61

Authors: Sajatovic M, Levin JB, Sams J, Cassidy KA, Akagi K, Aebi ME, Ramirez LF, Safren SA, Tatsuoka C

Abstract
OBJECTIVES: This analysis of screening and baseline data from an ongoing trial examined self-report versus automated adherence monitoring and assessed the relationship between bipolar disorder (BD) symptoms and adherence in 104 poorly adherent individuals.
METHODS: Adherence was measured with the Tablets Routine Questionnaire (TRQ) and the Medication Event Monitoring System (MEMS). Symptoms were measured with the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), the Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS), and the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS).
RESULTS: The mean age of the sample was 46.3 years [standard deviation (SD) = 9.41 years], with 72% (n = 75) women and 71% (n = 74) African American subjects. Adherence improved from screening to baseline, with a mean missed drug proportion measured by TRQ of 61.43% (SD = 26.48%) versus a baseline mean of 46.61% (SD = 30.55%). The mean proportion of missed medication using MEMS at baseline was 66.43% (SD = 30.40%). The correlation between TRQ and MEMS was 0.47. The correlation between a single index drug and all BD medications was 0.95. Symptoms were generally positively correlated with TRQ (worse adherence = more severe symptoms), but in most instances was only at a trend level (p > 0.05), with the exception of the correlations between baseline TRQ and MADRS and BPRS, which were positive (r = 0.20 and r = 0.21, respectively) and significant (p ≤ 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: In patients with BD, monitoring increased adherence by 15%. MEMS identified 20% more non-adherence than self-report. Using a standard procedure to identify a single index drug for adherence monitoring may be one way to assess global adherence in patients with BD receiving polypharmacy treatment. Greater BD symptom severity may be a clinical indicator to assess for adherence problems.

PMID: 26529124 [PubMed - in process]