Medication Adherence in a Cross-Diagnostic Sample of Patients From the Affective-to-Psychotic Spectrum: Results From the PsyCourse Study

Front Psychiatry. 2022 Jan 20:12:713060. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.713060. eCollection 2021.


Introduction: According to the World Health Organization, medication adherence is defined as the extent to which a person's behavior corresponds with an agreed recommendation from a healthcare provider. Approximately 50% of patients do not take their medication as prescribed, and non-adherence can contribute to the progress of a disease. For patients suffering from mental diseases non-adherence plays an important role. Various factors have been proposed as contributing to non-adherence, however the literature remains heterogeneous dependent on the analyzed patient subgroups. This study comprehensively evaluates the association of sociodemographic, clinical, personality and quality of life related factors with medication adherence by analyzing data from the PsyCourse study. The PsyCourse study is a large and cross-diagnostic cohort of psychiatric patients from the affective-to-psychotic spectrum.

Methods: The study sample comprised 1,062 patients from the PsyCourse study with various psychiatric diagnoses (mean [SD] age, 42.82 [12.98] years; 47.4% female). Data were analyzed to identify specific factors associated with medication adherence, and adherence was measured by a self-rating questionnaire. Odds ratios (OR) were estimated by a logistic regression for binary outcomes. Missing data were imputed using multiple imputation.

Results: The following factors showed the strongest association with medication adherence: never having used illicit drugs (OR, 0.71), number of prescribed antipsychotics (OR, 1.40), the personality trait conscientiousness (OR, 1.26), and the environmental domain of quality of life (OR, 1.09).

Conclusion: In a large and cross-diagnostic sample, we could show that a higher level of conscientiousness, a higher number of antipsychotic medication, a better quality of life within the environmental domain, and the absence of substance abuse contribute to a better medication adherence independent of the underlying disorder.

Keywords: bipolar disorder; conscientiousness; depression; medication adherence; schizophrenia.