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Medication adherence in schizophrenia: Understanding patientís views

Noor Us Saba Z, Sushma Muraraiah, Chandrashekar H.

Background: Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder that requires long-term treatment. Non-adherence to antipsychotics is common and associated with poor outcomes. Numerous studies have reported factors that influence non-adherence but without exploring the patientís views.

Aims and Objectives: The present study was undertaken to analyze patient views on non-adherence to antipsychotic medication in schizophrenia.

Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among patients diagnosed as schizophrenia by the psychiatrist, on antipsychotic medication and providing informed consent. Each patientís demographic, clinical, and treatment data along with the adherence levels using Medication Adherence Rating Scale (MARS) were recorded along with reasons for medication adherence behavior. The statements were reviewed and grouped into six categories: Insight, medication attitude and expectation, family support, efficacy of medication, side effects, and information.

Results: A total of 72 patients were included in the study. The mean age was 38Ī12 years and non-adherence to antipsychotic medications was 46%. Reasons stated for non-adherence were lack of illness insight (37%) followed by negative medication attitude (29%) and lack of family support (9%). In adherent group, the presence of insight about illness (40%), followed by positive medication attitude (23%) and having family support (17%) was recorded.

Conclusion: Non-adherence to antipsychotic medication was noted to be 46%. Illness insight, followed by medication attitude of the patients, plays an important role in the medication adherence behavior of the patients.

Key words: Schizophrenia; Patientís views; Antipsychotic drugs; Adherence; Non-adherence

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