A review of medication adherence in people with epilepsy

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Epilepsy is one of the most common chronic neurological disorders affecting people worldwide with a prevalence in developed countries of around eight per 1000 population. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates about 50 million people around the world suffer from epilepsy and nearly 80% of these people are found in the developing regions of the world.1 It has consistently been shown that patients with epilepsy are at a higher risk of mortality than matched controls2 but an explanation to account for this excessive mortality is complex. Intrinsic factors, such as developmental or degenerative disorders, account for some of this excess mortality, but additional factors such as poor adherence also contribute. Poor adherence has also consistently been shown to be associated with poorer outcomes and increased utilization of unscheduled heath care.3 Improving outcomes and reducing mortality is only achievable if factors identifying those at high risk of poor adherence are sought and targeted methods of improving adherence implemented.
The aim of this review article is to summarize the clinical and demographic factors associated with medication non‐adherence in PWE, briefly discuss the cost implications of non‐adherence and assess evidence for intervention strategies to remedy the problem.

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