The relationship between living arrangement and adherence to antiepileptic medications among individuals with developmental disabilities

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Non-adherence to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality in the general population but little is known about adherence in individuals with intellectual disability (ID).


Using the records of a closed pharmacy billing system over a 30 month period, we examined the medication non-adherence rates for AEDs among 793 individuals with ID. We calculated the medication possession ratio (number of days each participant was in possession of an AED), and defined non-adherence as 25% or more of the exposure days without the possession of an AED. All participants studied had filled prescriptions for AEDs spanning at least 6 months.


Controlling for age and gender, we found non-adherence rates varied by living arrangement. Compared with those living in group homes, individuals with ID living in family homes or in semi-independent settings were significantly less adherent to AEDs (P < 0.0003).


Non-adherence to AEDs is a potential medical risk for individuals with ID that is significantly impacted by the type of community living arrangement.

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