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Behav Res Ther. 1998 Sep;36(9):849-61.

Evaluation of an instructional program for improving medication compliance for chronically mentally ill outpatients.

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Center for Psychological Studies, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314, USA.


Outpatient medication adherence is a major problem, especially for patients repeatedly hospitalized for psychiatric disorders. This study included 39 such patients who were receiving case management services from a community mental health center. Patients were matched and randomly assigned to receive in a single session either (1) information regarding medication and its benefits, (2) guidelines for assuring adherence which encompassed all phases related to pill-taking including filling prescriptions, use of a pill container, transportation, self-reminders, doctor's appointments and so forth, or (3) the same guidelines as (2) above but given in the presence of a family member who was enlisted in support. The results showed that adherence increased to about 94% after the guidelines were given for both the individual and family guideline procedure, whereas adherence remained unchanged at 73% after the medication information procedure. These results suggest a practical means for assuring a high level of medication adherence for patients with psychiatric disorders.

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