Strategies for Improving Treatment Adherence in Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder
ABSTRACT Nonadherence with medication treatment is common but difficult to detect in patients with schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia, almost half of whom take less than 70% of prescribed doses. Like patients in all areas of medicine, patients with schizoaffective disorder weigh the perceived benefits of medications against perceived disadvantages, but this process is complicated by their impaired insight, the stigma of the diagnosis, and the often troubling side effects of antipsychotic medication. Interventions to improve adherence include encouraging acceptance of the illness, drawing analogies with treatment for chronic medical disease, and involving the patient in decision making. Clinicians must remain nonjudgmental, encouraging patients to disclose problems with adherence and anticipating that improvement in adherence may require a prolonged effort. Selection of antipsychotic medication is critical to avoid adverse side effects, and some medications may provide a sense of well-being, such as improvement in insomnia, anxiety, or depression. Depot (rather than oral) antipsychotics can improve adherence and provide the clinician with reliable information about the dosage of medication received, which can be used for purposes of dose adjustments or to guide response to relapse.
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ABSTRACT: The aims of this naturalistic non-interventional study were to quantify the level of stigma and discrimination in persons with schizophrenia and to test for potential associations between different types of stigma and adherence to antipsychotics. Antipsychotic medication use was electronically monitored with a Medication Event Monitoring System (MEMS(®)) for 12 months in 111 outpatients with schizophrenia and schizophrenia-like psychosis (DSM-IV). Stigma was assessed at endpoint using the Discrimination and Stigma Scale (DISC). Single DISC items that were most frequently reported included social relationships in making/keeping friends (71%) and in the neighborhood (69%). About half of the patients experienced discrimination by their families, in intimate relationships, regarding employment and by mental health staff. Most patients (88%) wanted to conceal their mental health problems from others; 70% stated that anticipated discrimination resulted in avoidance of close personal relationships. Non-adherence (MEMS(®) adherence≤0.80) was observed in 30 (27.3%). When DISC subscale scores (SD) were entered in separate regression models, neither experienced nor anticipated stigma was associated with adherence. Our data do not support an association between stigma and non-adherence. Further studies in other settings are needed as experiences of stigma and levels of adherence and their potential associations might vary by a healthcare system or cultural and sociodemographic contexts. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.Psychiatry Research 10/2014; 220(3):811-817. DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2014.10.016 · 2.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Side effects of psychotropic medications are important determinants of adherence to treatment. Discussion between the patient and clinician facilitated through the use of a side effect self-report questionnaire (SRQ) could lead to improved communications and treatment adherence. The aim of this review was to 1) identify all currently available side effect SRQs used in the assessment of mental health patients׳ subjective experiences, 2) evaluate the characteristics of the studies and 3) assess the psychometric properties of each of the questionnaires. Eight electronic databases were searched for peer-reviewed published articles. Six side effect SRQs were identified. Two independent reviewers assessed the quality of the study designs and psychometric properties of the identified SRQs. All questionnaires consisted of closed questions relating to antipsychotic side effects and completion times ranged from 5 to 20min. Five questionnaires had undergone some form of psychometric testing, ranging from basic to comprehensive. There is a need in everyday clinical practice for a side effect communication tool applicable to all psychotropic medications, which allows the patient to express their subjective beliefs about their medications. This could provide an important contribution to the working relationship between patients and clinicians leading to informed decision-making and improved adherence.Psychiatry Research 06/2014; 219(3). DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2014.05.060 · 2.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The primary aim was to compare objective and subjective measures of adherence in a naturalistic cohort of schizophrenia outpatients over 12 months between October 2008 and June 2011. Antipsychotic medication adherence was monitored in 117 outpatients diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizophrenia-like psychosis according to DSM-IV criteria in a naturalistic prospective study. Adherence was determined by the Medication Event Monitoring System (MEMS(®)), pill count, plasma levels and patient, staff, psychiatrist and close informant ratings. The plasma level adherence measure reflects adherence to medication and to lab visits. Relationships between MEMS(®) adherence and other measures were expressed as a concordance index and kappa (K). Non-adherence (MEMS(®) ≤0.80) was observed in 27% of the patients. MEMS(®) adherence was highly correlated with pill count (concordance= 89% and K=0.72, p<0.001). Concordance and K were lower for all other adherence measures and very low for the relationship between MEMS(®) adherence and plasma levels (concordance=56% and K=0.05, p=0.217). Adherence measures were also entered into a principal component analysis that yielded three components. MEMS(®) recordings, pill count and informant ratings had their highest loadings in the first component, plasma levels alone in the second and patient, psychiatrist and staff ratings in the third. The strong agreement between MEMS(®) and pill count suggests that structured pill count might be a useful tool to follow adherence in clinical practice. The large discrepancy between MEMS(®) and the adherence measure based on plasma levels needs further study in clinical settings.European neuropsychopharmacology: the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology 12/2013; 24(2). DOI:10.1016/j.euroneuro.2013.11.013 · 5.40 Impact Factor