Valued Living and Its Relationship to Medication Adherence in Patients with Bipolar and Comorbid Substance Use Disorders

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Bipolar disorder with comorbid substance abuse is associated with high rates of treatment nonadherence. Adherence interventions developed to date have had mixed effects in this population. Valued living (i.e., the consistency between a patient’s personal values and daily actions) represents a potentially useful treatment target that may improve adherence. We investigated the relationship between valued living, medication adherence, symptoms, and functioning in a sample of 39 patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder and a comorbid substance use disorder. Results showed that greater values-action consistency explained a unique amount of variance (R2 change = 15.2%) in medication adherence even after controlling for symptom severity, functional impairment, and other reported reasons for nonadherence. Drug use and treatment beliefs also predicted nonadherence. Findings suggest that valued living should be investigated further as a potentially malleable treatment target in future adherence intervention research.

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