August 16, 2005

Compliance Therapy: Effective Or Not?

Sometimes people with schizophrenia have a hard time adhering to their treatment regimen and so they turn to therapy. Compliance therapy is sometimes used to educate people of the necessity of continuing treatment and educates them of the possible consequences of not doing so. But how effective compliance therapy is has come under speculation. Researcher looked at the efficacy of compliance therapy with 30 outpatients who were either suffering from either schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. The therapy consisted of both cognitive and psychoeducational "approaches" and focused on the patients psychotic symptoms that could sometimes affect their coherence to treatment.

The actual compliance therapy lasted four to six sessions, was 30-60 minutes long, and happened over a 3-week period. Researchers found that adherence to treatment got better when the patients were still using compliance therapy and even a month after they stopped such therapy. Unfortunately, the positive effects of this treatment plan did not last to the 5 month follow up.

"Interestingly, people with schizoaffective disorder showed lower levels of adherence at baseline and during the intervention month than their peers with schizophrenia. A greater level of adherence was associated with a higher degree of insight at baseline, although the team notes that insight, symptoms, and attitudes to medication did not change significantly during the study" (

The findings of this study suggested to the researchers that compliance therapy may not be effective to those with psychotic disorders.

Original Source: 'Compliance therapy' may not be effective for psychotic disorders. August 16, 2005.

This research article was published in J Clin Psychiatry 2005; 66: 997–1001.


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