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Monitoring Treatment and Managing Adherence in Schizophrenia

J Clin Psychiatry 2013;74(10):e21
10.4088/JCP.12117tx2c

The majority of patients with schizophrenia will be nonadherent at some point during their treatment, which is why clinicians must assess adherence at each visit and promptly address any barriers. Treatment adherence can be negatively impacted by substance use, cognitive impairment, complex treatment regimens, and antipsychotic-induced adverse effects. Clinicians must monitor these risk factors, particularly metabolic, neurologic, and other side effects, not only to improve adherence but also to protect patients from dangerous health conditions. Interventions that can address some barriers to treatment adherence include adjusting medications as necessary, implementing lifestyle changes, using long-acting injectable antipsychotics, educating patients and their families, and implementing psychosocial therapy. With the appropriate interventions and support, patients with schizophrenia can maintain their treatment regimens and avoid relapse.

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