The relationship between the health belief model constructs and medication compliance in the treatment of bipolar disorder

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Montgomery, Leigh Ann

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Bipolar Disorder is commonly treated with medications that have been shown to be highly effective, yet there is an alarmingly high rate of people who do not take the prescribed medication and often suffer from a relapse of symptoms as a result. A greater understanding of medication compliance behavior will increase the efficacy of psychiatric and psychological intervention programs directed towards the treatment of bipolar disorder and the enhancement of medication compliance. In an effort to reveal the variables related to medication compliance, this study reformulated the constructs of a psychosocial model (the Health Belief Model {HBM}) in order to accommodate specific variables related to symptoms of bipolar disorder and the medications prescribed for treatment. The study included 41 people diagnosed with bipolar disorder and prescribed medication for treatment. Participation consisted of completion of a 12-page survey and a brief telephone interview. Pearson’s Product Coefficients and regression analyses indicated that constructs of the HBM (Perceived Seriousness, Susceptibility, Barriers, and Benefits) are related to medication compliance. Future treatment programs should consider a combined pharmacological and psychological approach in order to provide more effective treatments that enhance medication compliance, decrease the likelihood of relapse, and increase quality of life for people living with this illness.



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