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Why don't patients take their medicine? Reasons and solutions in psychiatry

  • Alex J. Mitchell and Thomas Selmes

Over the course of a year, about three-quarters of patients prescribed psychotropic medication will discontinue, often coming to the decision themselves and without informing a health professional. Costs associated with unplanned discontinuation may be substantial if left uncorrected. Partial non-adherence (much more common than full discontinuation) can also be detrimental, although some patients rationally adjust their medication regimen without ill-effect. This article reviews the literature on non-adherence, whether intentional or not, and discusses patients' reasons for failure to concord with medical advice, and predictors of and solutions to the problem of non-adherence.

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Why don't patients take their medicine? Reasons and solutions in psychiatry

  • Alex J. Mitchell and Thomas Selmes
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