Psychological Medicine

Original Articles

A two-year prospective study of treatment compliance in patients with schizophrenia

Alec Buchanana1 c1

a1 From the Maudsley Hospital, London


The study is a prospective investigation of the factors associated with treatment compliance in 61 patients discharged from hospital with a ward diagnosis of schizophrenia. All cases were classified using reliable diagnostic criteria and all were followed up for two years. Compliance was assessed by inspection of records and by analysis of urine. Sociodemographic factors and illness variables were unrelated to compliance. Some aspects of a patient's insight and attitude, namely, a belief that medication had helped during the admission, a stated willingness to take treatment after discharge and a generally optimistic outlook, were associated with improved compliance. Other variables which showed such an association were the absence of the drug side-effect akinesia, good previous compliance and voluntary, as opposed to compulsory, admission to hospital.


c1 Address for correspondence: Dr Alec Buchanan, Maudsley Hospital, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AZ.