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Psychol Health Med. 2007 Jan;12(1):107-13.

Psychological factors and use of antiepileptic drugs: pilot work using an objective measure of adherence.

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  • 1University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, UK. steven.kemp@leedsth.nhs.uk


Given the current emphasis on the "concordance" prescribing model, a study was designed to determine the influence of patients' beliefs about epilepsy, beliefs about medication and a range of neuroepilepsy variables on drug adherence among a sample of epilepsy patients. A special feature of the study was the use of a credible objective measure of drug adherence. Psychological health was also assessed. Thirty-seven patients were recruited from a local epilepsy clinic. Beliefs about epilepsy (illness representations), beliefs about epilepsy medication, anxiety, depression, neuroepilepsy status and adherence were all measured. Data were collected via clinical interview and questionnaire methods. Adherence with drug treatment was determined by an objective measure using low-dose phenobarbital as an indicator of adherence and, or, measurement of antiepileptic drug levels. Neither illness representations nor beliefs about epilepsy drugs were related to adherence. With the exception of time since last seizure, which was positively related to adherence, neuroepilepsy variables were unrelated to adherence. A number of significant associations between cognitive representations of epilepsy and mood were found.

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