A pilot study of barriers to medication adherence in schizophrenia.
ABSTRACT Interventions to improve adherence to antipsychotic medication are needed. The aims of the current study were to identify the most common barriers to medication adherence in a cohort of patients receiving outpatient and inpatient treatment for an acute exacerbation of schizophrenia, compare clinical and demographic characteristics of patients with lower versus higher numbers of barriers, and characterize patients most likely to be nonadherent to antipsychotic medication.
The present study analyzed data collected during the Schizophrenia Guidelines Project (SGP), a multisite study of strategies to implement practice guidelines that was funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and conducted from March 1999 to October 2000. Nurse coordinators had conducted clinical assessments and performed an intervention designed to improve medication adherence by addressing barriers to adherence. Data on patient symptoms, functioning, and side effects had been obtained using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), the Schizophrenia Outcomes Module, the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form Health Survey, and the Barnes Akathisia Scale (BAS). Administrative data were used to identify patients with an ICD-9 code for schizophrenia. A total of 153 patients who met this criterion and participated in the intervention arm of the SGP had complete data available for analysis in the current study.
The most common patient-reported barriers were related to the stigma of taking medications, adverse drug reactions, forgetfulness, and lack of social support. Bivariate analysis showed that patients with high barriers were significantly more likely to be nonadherent (p < or =.02), to have problems with alcohol or drug use (p =.02), to have higher PANSS total scores (p =.03), and to have higher mean BAS scores (p =.02). Logistic regression showed that lower patient education level (odds ratio [OR] = 3.95, p =.02), substance abuse (OR = 3.24, p =.01), high PANSS total scores (OR = 1.02, p =.05), and high barriers (OR = 2.3, p =.05) were significantly associated with the probability of nonadherence.
It may be possible to identify patients most likely to benefit from adherence intervention. The data presented here will help to inform future research of clinical interventions to improve medication adherence in schizophrenia and help to stimulate further work in this area.
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ABSTRACT: Although non-adherence is common across all branches of medicine, psychotic disorders pose additional challenges that increase its risk. Despite the importance of non-adherence, clinicians generally spend too little time on assessing and addressing adherence attitudes and behaviors. Importantly, how adherence is measured significantly impacts the findings, and the most frequently employed methods of asking patients or judging adherence indirectly based on efficacy or tolerability information have poor validity. Novel technologies are being developed that directly assess adherence and that can also be used to both provide real-time feedback to clinicians and serve as an intervention with patients. Several treatments are available that can positively impact adherence. Among psychosocial interventions, those combining multiple approaches and involving multiple domains seem to be most effective. Although long-acting injectable antipsychotics are theoretically a very powerful tool to assure adherence and signal non-adherence, recent results from randomized controlled trials failed to show superiority compared to oral antipsychotics. These data are in contrast to nationwide cohort studies and mirror-image studies, which arguably include more representative patients receiving long-acting antipsychotics in clinical practice. This disconnect suggests that traditional randomized controlled trials are not necessarily the best way to study interventions that are thought to work via reducing non-adherence. Clearly, non-adherence is likely to remain a major public health problem despite treatment advances. However, increasing knowledge about factors affecting adherence and leveraging novel technologies can enhance its early assessment and adequate management, particularly in patients with psychotic disorders.World psychiatry: official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) 10/2013; 12(3):216-226. · 8.97 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The research goal is to better understand prescriber, patient, and caregiver perspectives about long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotic therapy and how these perspectives affect LAI use. Addressing these perspectives in the clinic may lead to greater success in achieving therapeutic goals for the patient with schizophrenia. Ethnographic information was collected from a non-random sample of 69 prescriber-patient conversations (60 with community mental health center [CMHC] psychiatrists; 9 with nurse-practitioners) recorded during treatment visits from August 2011 to February 2012, transcribed and analyzed. Discussions were categorized according to 11 predetermined CMHC topics. In-person observations were also conducted at 4 CMHCs, including home visits by researchers (n = 15 patients) prior to the CMHC visit and observations of patients receiving injections and interacting with staff. Telephone in-depth interviews with psychiatrists, patients, and caregivers to gather additional information on LAI discussion, prescription, or use were conducted. Antipsychotic treatment decisions were made without patient or caregiver input in 40 of 60 (67%) of psychiatrist-patient conversations. Involvement of patients or caregivers in treatment decisions was greater when discussing LAI (15 of 60 [25%]) vs oral antipsychotic treatment (5 of 60 [8%]). LAIs were not discussed by psychiatrists in 11 of 22 (50%) patients taking oral antipsychotics. When offered, more LAI-naive patients expressed neutral (9 of 19 [47%]) rather than favorable (3 of 19 [16%]) or unfavorable (7 of 19 [37%]) responses. Prescribers were most concerned about potentially damaging the therapeutic relationship and side-effects when discussing LAIs while patient resistance was often related to negative feelings about injections. Psychiatrists had some success in overcoming patient objections to LAIs by addressing and decomposing initial resistance. More than half (11 of 19 [58%]) of LAI-naive patients agreed to start LAI treatment following office visits. Patient-described benefits of LAIs vs orals included perceived rapid symptom improvement and greater overall efficacy. In this study, many psychiatrists did not offer LAIs and most patients and caregivers were not involved in antipsychotic treatment decision making. Opportunities to increase active patient engagement, address resistances, guide patient drug-formulation selection, and provide better LAI-relevant information for more individualized approaches to treating the patient with schizophrenia were present.BMC Psychiatry 10/2013; 13(1):261. · 2.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Nonadherence to medication is a recognized problem and may be the most challenging aspect of treatment. We performed a systematic review of factors that influence adherence and the consequences of nonadherence to the patient, healthcare system and society, in patients with schizophrenia. Particular attention was given to the effect of nonadherence on hospitalization rates, as a key driver of increased costs of care. A qualitative systematic literature review was conducted using a broad search strategy using disease and adherence terms. Due to the large number of abstracts identified, article selection was based on studies with larger sample sizes published after 2001. Thirty-seven full papers were included: 15 studies on drivers and 22 on consequences, of which 12 assessed the link between nonadherence and hospitalization. Key drivers of nonadherence included lack of insight, medication beliefs and substance abuse. Key consequences of nonadherence included greater risk of relapse, hospitalization and suicide. Factors positively related to adherence were a good therapeutic relationship with physician and perception of benefits of medication. The most frequently reported driver and consequence were lack of insight and greater risk of hospitalization respectively. Improving adherence in schizophrenia may have a considerable positive impact on patients and society. This can be achieved by focusing on the identified multitude of factors driving nonadherence.Therapeutic advances in psychopharmacology. 08/2013; 3(4):200-18.