Although most patients with schizophrenia are reluctant to take antipsychotic drugs, implementing a telephone-based, nurse-led intervention was found to have positive effects on overall medication adherence in patient participants, according to a study published in Perspectives in Psychiatric Care.

Researchers conducted a controlled trial analyzing hospitalized patients (n=46) with a diagnosis of schizophrenia who were randomly assigned to either the intervention or control group. Participants underwent medication adherence training followed by either routine care provided by the hospital or participating in the telephone intervention problem-solving (TIPS) program. TIPS was provided to the intervention group for a period of 2 months.

The participants in the study had an average age of 38.9 years, and 58.7% were women. When comparing the rates of continued medication use among the groups, those enrolled in the TIPS group were found to have a significantly higher rate of use. The rate of believing in the necessity of medication was compared within the groups, and although the rate remained the same in the control group, it significantly increased in the intervention group. Medication adherence was found to decrease for the participants in the control group, whereas a statistically significant increase was found in the intervention group.

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“Accordingly, the patients with schizophrenia who participated in TIPS had lower rates of discontinuing medication willingly compared to the patients who did not participate in TIPS,” concluded the authors. “Additionally, the rates of believing in the necessity of medication and medication adherence were higher after TIPS participation compared with those among the patients who did not participate in TIPS.”

Reference

Uslu E, Buldukoglu K. Randomized controlled trial of the effects of nursing care based on a telephone intervention for medication adherence in schizophrenia [published online March 25, 2019]. Perspect Psychiatr Care. doi:10.1111/ppc.12376