Interventions to improve adherence to antipsychotic medication in patients with schizophrenia--a review of the past decade

Eur Psychiatry. 2012 Jan;27(1):9-18. doi: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2011.02.005. Epub 2011 May 10.


Objective: Nonadherence to antipsychotic medication is highly prevalent in patients with schizophrenia and has a deleterious impact on the course of the illness. This review seeks to determine the interventions that were examined in the past decade to improve adherence rates.

Method: The literature between 2000 and 2009 was searched for randomized controlled trials which compared a psychosocial intervention with another intervention or with treatment as usual in patients with schizophrenia.

Results: Fifteen studies were identified, with a large heterogeneity in design, adherence measures and outcome variables. Interventions that offered more sessions during a longer period of time, and especially those with a continuous focus on adherence, seem most likely to be successful, as well as pragmatic interventions that focus on attention and memory problems. The positive effects of adapted forms of Motivational Interviewing found in earlier studies, such as compliance therapy, have not been confirmed.

Conclusion: Nonadherence remains a challenging problem in schizophrenia. The heterogeneity of factors related to nonadherence calls for individually tailored approaches to promote adherence. More evidence is required to determine the effects of specific interventions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Medication Adherence*
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology


  • Antipsychotic Agents