Treatment adherence in first episode psychosis with a history of violence: understanding correlates and improving adherence

Research shows that if people who have experienced a first psychotic episode adhere to treatment, they are less prone to relapse and have improved overall well-being. However, studies also indicate that less than 50 percent of these individuals take their medication as prescribed, and less than one-third participate in relapse prevention treatments. It’s known that people with schizophrenia and a history of violence, substance use, or antisocial personality disorder are less likely to adhere to medication regimens and psychosocial treatments. Alicia Spidel is looking at the relationship between treatment adherence and a history of violence in people experiencing a first psychotic episode, and whether first episodes are related to higher rates of personality disorders and substance use. She is also assessing whether motivational interviewing, a client-centred therapeutic approach, motivates participants to manage their symptoms and prevent relapse. The results could be used to refine treatment programs for people with schizophrenia and reduce criminal behaviour.