Background: One of the frequent problem in schizophrenic patients is non adherence to treatment which can be partial or complete7 and can leads to poor clinical outcomes. Non adherence to antipsychotic medications can lead to increased episodes of violent behavior, exacerbation of psychotic symptoms, increased rates of suicidal/homicidal behavior and resistance to drugs.
Aims: To find prevalence of non adherence to treatment in schizophrenic patients.
Materials & Methods: This is an observational, cross-sectional study which was conducted over a period of two months, on schizophrenic patients attending the outpatient department (OPD) of tertiary care hospital, Jammu. After meeting inclusion and exclusion criteria, total of 131 patients were selected for the study. Various parameters like age, sex, education, marital status etc were collected. A patient is said to be non adherent if he takes less than 80% of prescribed medication or have gaps in medication of at least 7 days.
Results: 64.9% schizophrenic patients were non adherent to their treatment. Prevalence of non adherence was higher in those schizophrenic patients who were males, unmarried, uneducated, unemployed, from rural areas, below 20 years of age and belongs to lower socioeconomic status whereas it was high in those who had parents as their caretakers.
Conclusion: In the present study it is concluded that the prevalence of non adherence among schizophrenic patients is high which may hamper treatment outcome, worsens the prognosis of the disease and produces excessive burden on the caretakers of these patients. Hence it is suggested that in addition to providing treatment to these patients, necessary initiatives must be taken by health care professionals to prevent relapses of symptoms by maintaining treatment compliance.
Keywords: Non Adherence, Prevalence. Schizophrenia