Understanding and Managing Treatment Adherence in Schizophrenia.

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Understanding and Managing Treatment Adherence in Schizophrenia.

Clin Schizophr Relat Psychoses. 2019 Jan 03;:

Authors: Dufort A, Zipursky RB

Schizophrenia is a chronic, debilitating and costly illness. The course of illness is often exacerbated by relapses which are associated with negative outcomes including rehospitalisation. The most important risk factor associated with relapse is medication nonadherence. Medication nonadherence is not specific to schizophrenia and is an issue across all of medicine. The objective of this paper is to present a narrative review which synthesizes the rates and predictors of medication nonadherence, as well as associated interventions, across schizophrenia, first episode psychosis and general medicine. Given the breadth of these topics, this paper does not aim to present a complete review of the data but rather a concise synthesis of several lines of research in order to provide a general framework for approaching this important topic. Overall, this paper identifies that rates and risk factors of nonadherence in schizophrenia are similar to those reported in general medicine. Rates of adherence are estimated at 50% for both. Predictors of nonadherence were also quite similar between various illnesses, with lack of insight, poor family support and substance abuse often being highlighted. Well studied approaches of improving adherence include simplifying medication regimens, psychoeducation, engaging family support and use of long-acting injectable antipsychotics. Emerging interventions included text-message reminders, financial incentives and MyCite technology. Additionally, several evidence based interventions were identified in general medicine that may have applicability in schizophrenia and first episode psychosis. Lastly, avenues of future research were identified including the need to further characterize the dichotomy between adherence, partial adherence and nonadherence.

PMID: 30605043 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]