Attitudes toward antipsychotic medication, insight and psychopathology in outpatients with schizophrenia.

Department of Psychiatry, Medical University, Sofia, Bulgaria.
Folia medica 01/2012; 54(4):62-8. DOI: 10.2478/v10153-012-0007-3
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Attitude toward antipsychotic medication is considered as one of the main predictors for medication adherence in schizophrenia. The present non-interventional cross-sectional study aims to explore the associations between attitudes toward antipsychotic medication, insight and other clinical variables in outpatients with schizophrenia.
Attitudes toward antipsychotic medication, clinical and social variables, sociodemographic and illness-related characteristics were assessed via a set of semi-structured clinical interviews and self-rating scales in a total of 226 patients with schizophrenia on a long-term antipsychotic treatment in community based settings. The associations between attitudes toward medication and severity of psychopathology, insight and medication side effects were examined.
The greater hospitalization rate in the previous year was associated with more severe psychopathology at the time of the study, more pronounced side effects of the therapy and lack of insight. The lack of insight, the presence of more severe negative and depressive symptoms and disease duration less than 5 years correlated significantly with negative attitudes toward antipsychotic medication. The severity of medication side effects was not associated with the drug attitudes.
Psychoeducational and psychotherapeutical interventions, along with pharmacotherapy, can be beneficial in forming positive attitudes toward medication and improving medication adherence in schizophrenia, especially in patients with a short duration of the disease.

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