Modeling determinants of medication attitudes and poor adherence in early nonaffective psychosis: Implications for intervention

Richard J. Drake*, Merete Nordentoft, Gillian Haddock, Celso Arango, W. Wolfgang Fleischhacker, Birte Glenthøj, Marion Leboyer, Stefan Leucht, Markus Leweke, Phillip McGuire, Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg, Dan Rujescu, Iris E. Sommer, René S. Kahn, Shon W. Lewis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


We aimed to design a multimodal intervention to improve adherence following first episode psychosis, consistent with current evidence. Existing literature identified medication attitudes, insight, and characteristics of support as important determinants of adherence to medication: we examined medication attitudes, self-esteem, and insight in an early psychosis cohort better to understand their relationships. Existing longitudinal data from 309 patients with early Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, nonaffective psychosis (83% first episode) were analyzed to test the hypothesis that medication attitudes, while meaningfully different from "insight," correlated with insight and self-esteem, and change in each influenced the others. Rosenberg Self- Esteem Scale, Birchwood Insight Scale, and Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale insight were assessed at presentation, after 6 weeks and 3 and 18 months. Drug Attitudes Inventory (DAI) and treatment satisfaction were rated from 6 weeks onward. Structural equation models of their relationships were compared. Insight measures' and DAI's predictive validity were compared against relapse, readmission, and remission. Analysis found five latent constructs best fitted the data: medication attitudes, selfesteem, accepting need for treatment, self-rated insight, and objective insight. All were related and each affected the others as it changed, except self-esteem and medication attitudes. Low self-reported insight at presentation predicted readmission. Good 6-week insight (unlike drug attitudes) predicted remission. Literature review and data modeling indicated that a multimodal intervention using motivational interviewing, online psychoeducation, and SMS text medication reminders to enhance adherence without damaging self-concept was feasible and appropriate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)584-596
Number of pages13
JournalSchizophrenia Bulletin
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Adherence
  • First episode
  • Insight
  • MHealth
  • Schizophrenia
  • Self-esteem
  • Web-based


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