Medication nonadherence and psychiatry

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Nonadherence to appropriately prescribed medication for psychiatric disorders prevents patients from realizing the full benefits of their treatment and negatively impacts on individuals, their families and the healthcare system. Understanding and reducing nonadherence is therefore a key challenge to quality care for patients with psychiatric disorders. This review highlights findings regarding the prevalence and consequence of nonadherence, barriers to adherence and new intervention methods from 2012 onwards.

Recent findings

Recent research has highlighted that nonadherence is a global challenge for psychiatry and has linked nonadherence to poorer outcomes, including hospital admissions, suicide and mortality. Optimizing medication regimens can reduce nonadherence; however, often a complex interplay of factors affects individuals’ motivation and ability to follow their prescription. Psychiatrists can enable patients to develop an accurate model of their illness and treatment and facilitate adherence. However, nonadherence is often a hidden issue within consultations. Novel interventions using new technologies and tailoring techniques may have the potential to reduce nonadherence.

Summary

Nonadherence remains a significant challenge for patients with psychiatric disorders, physicians and healthcare systems. New developments demonstrate the importance of developing tailored interventions to enable patients to overcome perceptual and practical barriers to adherence.

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