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Money for medication: financial incentives to improve medication adherence in assertive outreach

  • Dirk Claassen (a1), Walid K. Fakhoury (a2), Richard Ford (a3) and Stefan Priebe (a4)
Abstract
Aims and Method

Although financial incentives to improve treatment adherence have been found effective in various medical specialties, there are few systematic data on their use, ethical background and effectiveness in psychiatry. We explored the practice of and possible ethical problems associated with direct financial incentives to improve adherence in assertive outreach teams in England. We also report clinical observations of a money for medication scheme with five assertive outreach patients in East London.

Results

None of the assertive outreach teams that responded to the survey (response rate 47%) uses financial incentives. Attitudes of team managers towards the practice were mostly negative, often regarding it as unethical. Specific concerns were related to possible coercion and a negative impact on the therapeutic relationship. Out of five patients studied, four accepted the offer of money and had improved adherence; three remained without hospital admission since entering the scheme.

Clinical Implications

Money for medication might be a non-coercive and effective option to achieve medication adherence in otherwise non-adherent assertive outreach patients. However, ethical issues need further exploration and controlled trials are required to establish the effectiveness.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Money for medication: financial incentives to improve medication adherence in assertive outreach

  • Dirk Claassen (a1), Walid K. Fakhoury (a2), Richard Ford (a3) and Stefan Priebe (a4)
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