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Consumer-related factors influencing antidepressant adherence in unipolar depression: a qualitative study

Authors Srimongkon P, Aslani P, Chen TF

Received 23 December 2017

Accepted for publication 9 May 2018

Published 19 September 2018 Volume 2018:12 Pages 1863—1873


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Pornchanok Srimongkon, Parisa Aslani, Timothy F Chen

The University of Sydney School of Pharmacy, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Purpose: To explore factors which facilitate and negatively impact adherence, at initiation, implementation and discontinuation phases of adherence to antidepressant medicines.
Patients and methods: Semi-structured, face-to-face interviews were conducted with patients suffering from unipolar depression. The digitally audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim were used. Transcripts were thematically content analyzed and data managed using N-Vivo software.
Results: Twenty-three interviews were conducted. The predominant factors facilitating initiation of therapy included self-motivation and severity of depression. Factors aiding persistence with therapy included belief in, and effectiveness of, antidepressants. Stigma and fear of adverse events inhibited initiation of therapy, whilst adverse events and ineffectiveness of antidepressants contributed to discontinuation. Patients with strong perceptions of the necessity and few concerns about antidepressants were more likely to adhere to treatment at all phases of adherence.
Conclusion: Different factors influence medication adherence at the different phases of adherence. These factors were based on individual perceptions about depression and its treatment, and actual experiences of antidepressant treatment. This information should be considered by health care professionals in delivering targeted and tailored interventions to foster adherence. Strategies to address medication non-adherence in unipolar depression patients should consider the phase of adherence and individual perceptions about depression and its treatment, along with previous experiences with treatment for depression.

depression, adherence, influencing factors, facilitators, barriers

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