African Journal of
Pharmacy and Pharmacology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pharm. Pharmacol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0816
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPP
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 2281

Full Length Research Paper

Medication adherence of psychiatric patients in an outpatient setting

Sanele Mahaye, Thandinceba Mayime, Siyabonga Nkosi, Farzana Noor Mahomed, Londeka Ntuli, Justine Pramlal, Olivia Setlhabana and Frasia Oosthuizen*
School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 20 February 2012
  •  Published: 08 March 2012


The success of medication treatment is dependent on a patient’s adherence to the medication regimen and non-adherence amongst psychiatric patients is associated with poor clinical outcomes and high resource utilization. The aim of this study was to assess the levels of medication adherence in psychiatric outpatients and explore factors that influence adherence. Adult, psychiatric outpatients were assessed to (1) determine medication adherence and (2) identify factors that might impact on adherence, using the Morisky Medication Adherence Questionnaire. The impact of socio- demographic factors as well as treatment related factors were considered. 95 outpatients participated in the study. The eight item Morisky medication adherence scale indicated high adherence levels amongst 12.6%, moderate adherence levels amongst 50.8%, and low adherence levels amongst 37% of participants. Significant predictors of adherence to psychiatric treatment were age (p=0.045) and race (p=0.055). The impact of socio-demographic variables on adherence, such as the type of condition, employment status and educational level, were insignificant. Adherence levels amongst psychiatric outpatients were found to be acceptable, with race and age predictors of adherence levels in this study population.


Key words: Adherence, psychiatry, morisky scale, outpatients, race, age.