Does adherence therapy improve medication adherence among patients with schizophrenia? A systematic review



Anna Hegedüs and Bernd Kozel

International Journal of Mental Health Nursing

October 2014



Non-adherence to medication is highly prevalent in patients with schizophrenia. Adherence therapy aims to improve medication adherence of these patients by applying techniques of cognitive behavioural therapy, psycho-education, and motivational interviewing. Even though adherence therapy is frequently discussed and researched, its effectiveness is still uncertain. This paper aims to review the effectiveness of adherence therapy on the medication adherence of patients with schizophrenia. To this end, six electronic databases were systematically searched for randomized, controlled trials on adherence therapy from January 2002 to March 2013. Four trials met the inclusion criteria and were incorporated into the review. The findings suggest that adherence therapy does not improve patients' medication adherence in comparison to treatment as usual or a control intervention. However, all the studies reviewed showed high-adherence ratings at baseline. Thus, further well-designed studies that target adherence therapy to patients who are non-adherent to their medication are needed for a more profound understanding of its effectiveness. In addition, if adherence therapy is aimed not only at improving medication adherence, but also to reach an agreement whereby the patient's decision not to take his medication is accepted, the shared decision-making process needs to be assessed as well.









Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee