How effective are interventions to enhance adherence to psychiatric medications? Practice implications for social workers working with adults diagnosed with severe mental illness

Lisa Townsend

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study integrates eight systematic reviews of adherence enhancement interventions to develop practice guidelines for social workers who work with adults who do not adhere to prescribed psychiatric medications. Findings indicate that existing investigations are disparate in their adherence definitions, methodologies employed, and sampling strategies, rendering it difficult to construct overall guidelines for social work practice. However, themes associated consistently with increased adherence are collaboration between clients and providers regarding medication decisions, consistent follow-up care, and a comprehensive network of professionals and caregivers who support clients in their use of medication to facilitate stabilization of mental health symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-530
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2 2009



  • Adherence
  • Medication
  • Mental health
  • Mixed methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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