June 17, 2004

Majority of Schizophrenia Patients Not Totally Compliant with Treatment Regimen

According to an April 2004 study in the American Journal of Psychiatry, only 41% of diagnosed patients regularly take their prescribed medications.

Out of the rest, 24% are completely non-compliant, and 17% are partially compliant with their treatment regimen. Another 19% are "excess fillers" - people who fill their prescriptions more frequently than they are prescribed. Those who lived independently or were homeless were more likely to be non-adherent.

It is a well-documented fact that treatment non-compliance, aside from the obvious detriments to the mentally ill patient, significantly raises out-patient and hospital medical costs.

This research shows the need for better managment, communication, and follow-up from healthcare providers, pharmacists, family members, and case-management workers.

For more information, please see the full-text article


upon medical discharge a mentally ill patient is not monitored for medication compliance. The patient is expected to take the medications as prescribed. I feel that the mental health system needs to improve and appoint a case manager that will monitor the meds for all mentally ill discharged patients especially schizophrenia.
It seems that our society tends to monitor a crimnial who has been discharged with more care and concern by appointing parole officers to whom the ex-prisoner has to report to. I am not saying to treat out patients as criminals but to monitor their med compliance with a case manager or social worker upon a medical hospitalization discharge. Don't our patients with a diagnosis of schizphrenia deserve the same attention and concern as anyone else?

Posted by: Diana Artiaga at June 22, 2004 09:36 PM


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