Medication adherence in bipolar disorder: Exploring the role of predominant polarity

Int J Psychiatry Med. 2021 Jul 1;912174211030163. doi: 10.1177/00912174211030163. Online ahead of print.


Objectives: Medication non-adherence is one important reason behind sub-optimal outcome from treatment of bipolar affective disorder (BPAD). Though various reasons behind medication non-adherence have been identified, little is known about the medication adherence patterns across various predominant polarities (PP) in BPAD.

Methods: 100 euthymic patients of BPAD were purposively recruited and the PP were determined. Subsequently, Morisky Medication adherence scale (MMAS); Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF); Oslo Social Support Scale and World Health Organization Quality of Life scale- Brief version (WHOQOL-Bref) were administered. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was done to estimate the difference of scores of MMAS after adjusting for any potential confounders.

Results: Overall, 44 patients with manic PP (MPP), 17 with depressive PP (DPP) and 39 with indeterminate PP (IPP) were recruited. It was found that patients who presented with DPP showed significantly higher medication adherence as compared to MPP.

Conclusion: Knowledge of PP of a patient of BPAD can be useful in anticipating medication adherence and treatment outcome. The major limitations included non-probability sampling, cross-sectional design and limited generalizability of the results.

Keywords: bipolar disorder; compliance; euthymia; medication adherence; predominant polarity.