Treatment-adherence in bipolar disorder: A patient-centred approach.

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Treatment-adherence in bipolar disorder: A patient-centred approach.

World J Psychiatry. 2016 Dec 22;6(4):399-409

Authors: Chakrabarti S

About half of the patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder (BD) become non-adherent during long-term treatment, a rate largely similar to other chronic illnesses and one that has remained unchanged over the years. Non-adherence in BD is a complex phenomenon determined by a multitude of influences. However, there is considerable uncertainty about the key determinants of non-adherence in BD. Initial research on non-adherence in BD mostly limited itself to examining demographic, clinical and medication-related factors impacting adherence. However, because of inconsistent results and failure of these studies to address the complexities of adherence behaviour, demographic and illness-related factors were alone unable to explain or predict non-adherence in BD. This prompted a shift to a more patient-centred approach of viewing non-adherence. The central element of this approach includes an emphasis on patients' decisions regarding their own treatment based on their personal beliefs, life circumstances and their perceptions of benefits and disadvantages of treatment. Patients' decision-making processes are influenced by the nature of their relationship with clinicians and the health-care system and by people in their immediate environment. The primacy of the patient's perspective on non-adherence is in keeping with the current theoretical models and concordance-based approaches to adherence behaviour in BD. Research over the past two decades has further endorsed the critical role of patients' attitudes and beliefs regarding medications, the importance of a collaborative treatment-alliance, the influence of the family, and the significance of other patient-related factors such as knowledge, stigma, patient satisfaction and access to treatment in determining non-adherence in BD. Though simply moving from an illness-centred to a patient-centred approach is unlikely to solve the problem of non-adherence in BD, such an approach is more likely to lead to a better understanding of non-adherence and more likely to yield effective solutions to tackle this common and distressing problem afflicting patients with BD.

PMID: 28078204 [PubMed - in process]