February 27, 2006

Attitude toward drug therapy helps predict intervention compliance

A new research study out of Japan published in Psychiatry Research suggests that a schizophrenic patient's attitude toward drug therapy is important to predict compliance and required intervention.

The study started from the well known fact that antipsychotic noncompliance is a major reason for relapse in outpatients with schizophrenia. The scientists reported that "In a 2-year follow-up study, we used the Japanese version of the Rating of Medication Influences Scale (ROMI-J) to investigate the reasons for compliance and noncompliance in outpatients with schizophrenia,"

As might also be predicted, ""All the outpatients were followed up for 2 years. At the initial interview, the most frequent reason for compliance was "relapse prevention," while the most frequent reason for noncompliance was "distressed by side effects.""

"Sixty-four outpatients who maintained compliance during the follow-up had higher ratings of "fulfillment of life goals" than their noncompliant counterparts."

The authors concluded that "It is important to understand the attitudes of patients with schizophrenia toward drug therapy in order to predict better compliance and provide psychoeducation designed to forestall relapses." In other words - the more that people realize that the medications will help them achieve their life goals - the more likely they are to maintain the medication treatments, despite significant side effects that are common.

Source: Psychiatry Research, 2006;141(1):61-9).


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