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Br J Psychiatry. 1998 May;172:413-9.

Randomised controlled trial of compliance therapy. 18-month follow-up.

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University Department of Psychiatry, Royal Free Hospital, London.



A randomised controlled trial was conducted in an acute treatment setting to examine the effectiveness of compliance therapy, a brief pragmatic intervention targeting treatment adherence in psychotic disorders, based on motivational interviewing and recent cognitive approaches to psychosis.


Seventy-four patients with psychotic disorders according to DSM-III-R criteria recruited from consecutive admissions to an acute in-patient unit, received 4-6 sessions of either compliance therapy or non-specific counselling, and were followed-up over 18 months. The principal outcome measures were observer-rated compliance, attitudes to treatment, insight and social functioning.


Significant advantages were found for the compliance therapy group post-treatment on measures of insight, attitudes to treatment and observer-rated compliance which were retained over the follow-up period. Global social functioning improved relatively more over time in the compliance therapy group compared with the control group. Survival in the community prior to readmission was significantly longer in the compliance therapy group.


The results support the effectiveness of compliance therapy in improving functioning and community tenure after an acute psychotic episode.

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