Predictors of medication competence in schizophrenia patients
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Competence in self-administration of a drug regimen is related to both treatment adherence and functional outcome. Previous research with middle-aged and older schizophrenia patients suggests a central role for cognitive performance in predicting this competence. We examined the relative and joint contributions of demographic, clinical and cognitive predictors of medication management ability in an age-representative group of patients. The study participants comprised 147 patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder ranging from 21 to 65 years of age. Measures included demographic variables, current symptoms, subjective treatment response and a battery of cognitive tests. Competence in medication management was indexed with the Medication Management Ability Assessment (MMAA). Multiple regression analyses revealed that cognitive variables accounted for a significant proportion of the variance in MMAA scores over and above the contribution of all other variables. Measures of word recognition and pronunciation, auditory working memory and verbal learning yielded unique contributions to prediction. Positive and negative symptoms and subject treatment evaluations did not independently predict medication competency. This study documents a considerable range in MMAA scores across a demographically broad schizophrenia sample and supports the unique contribution of specific cognitive factors in predicting medication competence.
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