Homelessness linked to poor antipsychotic medication adherence

Homelessness linked to poor antipsychotic medication adherence
SFU health sciences researcher Stefanie Rezansoff has found Vancouver's homeless population demonstrates poor adherence to antipsychotic medications. Credit: SFU

SFU health sciences researcher Stefanie Rezansoff has published a new study on the treatment of serious mental illnesses among people who are homeless. This is the first study to investigate adherence to antipsychotic medication in this population.

She found only 12 per cent of the 290 individuals studied were adherent to their medications at the level needed to be effective. This is despite having full and high access to pharmacies.

"Treatment protocols recommend that patients receive these medications continuously once they're initiated, but this can be difficult to ensure when people are precariously housed," says Rezansoff. "There's a strong link between low adherence and long-term homelessness."

Serious such as schizophrenia are overrepresented among homeless people. When symptoms are not effectively managed, individuals are at a higher risk of hospitalization, arrest, victimization and even suicide.

The research team is currently investigating interventions to improve adherence to . Possible interventions include supported housing, prescribing long-acting injections, and initiating regular and frequent contact between patients and primary healthcare providers.


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Citation: Homelessness linked to poor antipsychotic medication adherence (2016, August 17) retrieved 23 January 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-08-homelessness-linked-poor-antipsychotic-medication.html
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