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Factors Influencing Compliance in Schizophrenia Patients

W. Wolfgang Fleischhacker, MD; Maria A. Oehl, MD; and Martina Hummer, MD

Published: November 1, 2003

Article Abstract

Scientifically, compliance can be expressed as the ratio between an observed treatment behaviorand given treatment standards. Although the factors that influence compliance often overlap or influenceeach other, it is possible to differentiate between factors that are related to the patient, thepatient’s environment, the treating clinician, and treatment itself. Although this differentiation is insome ways artificial, it may aid the practicing clinician in assessing the various reasons why a particularpatient is likely to develop or has already developed compliance problems. The fact that a numberof circumstances and parties are involved in the multifaceted issue of compliance makes it evidentthat patients must never be solely blamed for compliance problems. Despite the fact that compliancebehavior is difficult to study from a methodological point of view, the scientific information availableto date does provide many important leads for the engaged clinician to prevent and manage complianceproblems.

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