Outpatient treatment compliance among first -episode patients with schizophrenia
Mark, Joshua H.
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Schizophrenia is a devastating disease that often grossly impairs the ability of the individual to function independently and to fully contribute to society. Treatment combing medication and psychosocial therapies have been demonstrated to prevent deterioration of the individual's functional capacity. Treatment is particularly beneficial for patients in the first episode of illness. Nevertheless, failure to comply with treatment recommendations is exhibited in upwards of 70 percent of this population. Treatment non-compliance results in frequent rehospitalizations and deterioration. This quantitative study examined treatment compliance among 48 individuals diagnosed with first episode schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder who received outpatient treatment. It was hypothesized that patient role acceptance, symptom severity, length of treatment, use of mood altering substances, level of care, and demographic factors would have significant relationships with treatment compliance as well as reduction in symptoms. A significant relationship was found between treatment compliance and reduction in negative symptoms and a significant relationship between attendance in a partial hospitalization program was correlated with a reduction in positive symptoms. No relationship between treatment compliance and use of mood altering substances or patient role acceptance was found.