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Medication Supervision and Adherence of Persons With Psychotic Disorders in Residential Treatment Settings: A Pilot Study

J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62(5):394-399

Background: Little is known about risk factors for and predictors of medication nonadherence within residential facilities. This pilot study examined the association between medication adherence and level of supervision and other environmental and clinical variables among patients with schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders living in supported housing.

Method: A convenience sample of 74 adult residents with schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders (DSM-IV criteria) living in 4 supported housing facilities in New York City were assessed by their treating psychiatrist for medication cessation during the previous month. Demographic characteristics, medications, supervision, global function as measured by the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF), and substance abuse were also assessed. A priori hypotheses were that regimen complexity would be directly and medication supervision would be inversely related to medication nonadherence.

Results: In multivariate models, lack of direct medication supervision, negative medication attitude, and lower GAF score were associated with increased medication nonadherence in the recent past.

Conclusion: This pilot study suggests that direct supervision of medication is associated with better adherence in residential treatment settings. This finding is relevant for mental health service planners and clinicians working in these settings.