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Pharmacopsychiatry. 2010 Nov;43(7):263-70. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1263169. Epub 2010 Sep 14.

Assessment of medication adherence in a cohort of patients with bipolar disorder.

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  • 1CIBERSAM Stanley International Mood Disorders Research Centre, Hospital Santiago Apóstol, University of the Basque Country, Vitoria, Spain.



This study aimed to identify factors associated with medication adherence in bipolar disorder (BPD) patients.


EMBLEM is a 2-year, prospective, observational study on the outcomes of BPD patients initiating or changing treatment for a manic/mixed episode. Data were collected at baseline, during the first 12 weeks of treatment (acute phase) and up to 24 months of follow-up (maintenance phase). Adherence was assessed by investigators at every visit. Repeated measures logistic regression analyses identified variables associated with adherence.


Of 1,831 patients included in the analysis, 76.6% were adherent and 23.4% were non-adherent with their BPD medication during the maintenance phase. Patients were more likely to be adherent if they had insight into their illness at week 12. Patients were less likely to be adherent if they had cannabis abuse/dependence during the acute phase, work impairment or higher CGI hallucinations/delusions at baseline


Psychotic symptoms, poor insight, cannabis abuse/dependence and work impairment are negatively related to medication adherence during maintenance therapy of bipolar disorder. Patients with these characteristics may need a different therapeutic approach.

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

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