A short message service (SMS)-based strategy for enhancing adherence to antipsychotic medication in schizophrenia

Psychiatry Res. 2012 Dec 30;200(2-3):89-95. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2012.07.034. Epub 2012 Aug 17.


Background: The aim of this study was to assess the impact of a short message service (SMS)-based strategy on adherence to antipsychotic treatment.

Methods: A multicentre, randomised, open-label, controlled, 6-month study with clinically stabilised outpatients with schizophrenia was conducted. The patients assigned to the intervention received daily SMS reminders to take their medication for 3 months. Self-reported medication adherence was determined using the Morisky Green Adherence Questionnaire (MAQ). Secondary outcomes were severity of illness, attitude towards medication, insight into illness and health-related quality of life.

Results: A total of 254 patients were analysed. A significantly greater improvement in adherence was observed among patients receiving SMS text messages compared with the control group. The mean change in MAQ total score from baseline to month 3 was -1.0 (95% confidence interval (CI) -1.02, -0.98) and -0.7 (95%CI -0.72, -0.68), respectively (P=0.02). Greater improvement in negative, cognitive and global clinical symptoms at month 3 was observed. Attitude towards medication also significantly improved across the study in the intervention group versus the controls.

Conclusions: An SMS-based intervention seems feasible and acceptable for enhancing medication adherence. Further studies are needed to confirm whether this kind of intervention could be a complementary strategy to optimise adherence in schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence*
  • Middle Aged
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Text Messaging*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antipsychotic Agents