Factors predicting adherence to antidepressant treatment

Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2014 Sep;27(5):344-9. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000086.


Purpose of review: Poor adherence and discontinuation of treatment are the major challenges of pharmacotherapy among patients with depression. This article reviews the factors predicting adherence to and persistence of antidepressant treatment identified in recent years.

Recent findings: Study populations have been extended to subgroups of patients with depression or depressive patients with comorbid medical conditions. Some studies have investigated the issues by analysing medical claims databases. Socio-demographic variables, clinical features of depression, comorbidities, pharmacological factors, attitudes towards antidepressants, previous experiences of antidepressant treatment, patient-professional relationship and genes were found to be common factors. An older age, positive attitudes to antidepressants and previous experiences and vicarious experiences of depression or treatment were found to be factors predicting better adherence or persistence. Conversely, patients in minority groups, those with a low family income, pregnancy, experience of side effects, dissatisfaction with treatment and a poor patient-professional relationship were found to be associated with poorer adherence or persistence.

Summary: The factors predicting adherence and persistence are complex and interactive. Different methods of studies have limitations in terms of exploring all these factors. Future studies should integrate these factors simultaneously and explore specific factors predicting adherence and persistence among subgroups of patients with depression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Medication Adherence* / psychology
  • Socioeconomic Factors


  • Antidepressive Agents