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OBJECTIVE: To elucidate predictors of non-adherence among psychiatric patients presenting at a tertiary care hospital of Pakistan, for follow-up with consultant psychiatrist.

METHODS: A convenient sampleof psychiatric patients from Aga Khan University Hospital was enrolled between April and May, 2005. An interviewer assisted, standardized questionnaire was used for data collection. Patients with cognitive deficit or psychosis and those presenting for the first time were not included in the study.

RESULTS: Out of 128 patients, those with co-morbidity (32.81%) were less adherent than those without comorbidity (p-value:0.002). Adherence among depressed was 61.53%; psychotic was 58.82%; bipolar disorder was 73.91%. Reasons for non-adherence included sedation (30%), medication cost (22%), forgot to take medication (36%); and inability of the physicians to explain timing and dose (92%) or benefit of medication (76%).

CONCLUSIONS: Non-adherence is a common and important issue. Treatment cost and co-morbidity should be reviewed in order to keep the medication regime affordable and comprehensible.


Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association