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BACKGROUND: Various interventions have been tested to achieve adherence to anti-psychotic maintenance medication in non-adherent patients with psychotic disorders, and there is no consistent evidence for the effectiveness of any established intervention. The effectiveness of financial incentives in improving adherence to a range of treatments has been demonstrated; no randomised controlled trial however has tested the use of financial incentives to achieve medication adherence for patients with psychotic disorders living in the community. METHODS/DESIGN: In a cluster randomised controlled trial, 34 mental health teams caring for difficult to engage patients in the community will be randomly allocated to either the intervention group, where patients will be offered a financial incentive for each anti-psychotic depot medication they receive over a 12 month period, or the control group, where all patients will receive treatment as usual. We will recruit 136 patients with psychotic disorders who use these services and who have problems adhering to antipsychotic depot medication, although all conventional methods to achieve adherence have been tried. The primary outcome will be adherence levels, and secondary outcomes are global clinical improvement, number of voluntary and involuntary hospital admissions, number of attempted and completed suicides, incidents of physical violence, number of police arrests, number of days spent in work/training/education, subjective quality of life and satisfaction with medication. We will also establish the cost effectiveness of offering financial incentives. DISCUSSION: The study aims to provide new evidence on the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of offering financial incentives to patients with psychotic disorders to adhere to antipsychotic maintenance medication. If financial incentives improve adherence and lead to better health and social outcomes, they may be recommended as one option to improve the treatment of non-adherent patients with psychotic disorders. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Current controlled trials ISRCTN77769281.

Original publication

DOI

10.1186/1471-244X-9-61

Type

Journal article

Journal

BMC Psychiatry

Publication Date

28/09/2009

Volume

9

Keywords

Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Antipsychotic Agents, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Delayed-Action Preparations, Delphi Technique, Fees and Charges, Female, Hospitalization, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Motivation, Patient Compliance, Patient Satisfaction, Pilot Projects, Psychotic Disorders, Quality of Life, Reward, Suicide, Attempted, Treatment Outcome