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Can J Psychiatry. 2013 Jan;58(1):59-65.

The influence of perceived social support on medication adherence in first-episode psychosis.

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  • 1Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec.



Our study examines the unique influence of social and family support on adherence to medication in a sample of patients treated for first-episode psychosis (FEP).


Social and family support using the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support and medication adherence (consensus of subjective and objective data) were evaluated on a monthly basis during a 6-month period in a sample of 82 FEP patients. The relation between social support and adherence was evaluated using correlational and linear regression analyses, controlling for other relevant variables. A longitudinal analysis using hierarchical linear models was conducted to model change in adherence over time.


Monthly correlations between social support and adherence were significant at 4 of 7 time points during a 6-month period. There was a modest correlation between the percentage of months of good adherence and the average level of family support across the study period. The linear regression failed to demonstrate a significant relation between baseline social support and overall adherence during the entire study period. Change in social support over time was inversely associated with change in adherence.


Our study emphasizes the concurrent influence of social (mostly family) support on adherence but this effect does not persist over time. Changes in the degree of social support may have a complex effect on changes in adherence.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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