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Skills-based medication training program for patients with schizophrenic disorders: a rater-blind randomized controlled trial

Authors Schirmer U, Steinert T, Flammer E, Borbé R

Received 10 October 2014

Accepted for publication 13 December 2014

Published 1 April 2015 Volume 2015:9 Pages 541—549


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Uwe B Schirmer,1 Tilman Steinert,1,2 Erich Flammer,1,2 Raoul Borbé1,2

1Centre for Psychiatry South-Wuerttemberg, Ravensburg, Germany; 2Ulm University, Department Psychiatry I, Ravensburg, Germany

Background: The long-term course of schizophrenia is often characterized by relapses, induced by poor medication adherence. Early nonadherence after discharge is frequent.
Objective: To evaluate a skills-based inpatient training program for medication intake.
Methods: We developed a manual-based inpatient medication training program to be carried out by nurses and focusing on practical skills enabling autonomous intake of medication. Medication adherence was measured by three different methods: pill count, determination of serum levels, and self-assessment by the patient. The raters were blinded.
Results: Four weeks after discharge, 98% of the patients in the intervention group (N=52) were rated as adherent by pill count versus 76% in the control group (N=50; P<0.01). By measurement of serum level, 88.5% versus 70% were adherent (P<0.05).
Conclusion: The inpatient medication training program carried out by nurses seems to be an effective intervention for enhancing medication adherence after hospital discharge.

Keywords: adherence, psychopharmacotherapy, schizophrenia

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