Psychotropic medicine beliefs, side effects and adherence in schizophrenia: a patient–caregiver dyad perspective

Irene A. Kretchy, Bernard Appiah, Kofi Agyabeng, Emmanuel M. Kwarteng, Enyonam Ganyaglo, Grace Owusu Aboagye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Medication adherence is essential in the management of schizophrenia. Yet poor treatment uptake has negative consequences on patients and their primary caregivers. Objective To examine the association among beliefs about psychotropic medications, side effects and adherence from a patient-caregiver dyad perspective. Setting This study was conducted in a public psychiatric hospital setting in Accra, Ghana. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted among 121 patient-caregiver dyads using an interviewer-administered data collection approach.Main outcome measure Beliefs about medicines, side-effects and medication adherence. Results The patient and caregiver-reported level of medication adherence was 28.1 %. Using the Kappa index, the level of agreement between the responses of patients and their caregivers ranged from slight to moderate. Both patients and caregivers rated necessity higher than concern (patients: 1.67 ± 0.84, caregiver: 1.79 ± 0.96). Significant positive relations between specific-necessity, necessity–concerns differential and medication adherence were recorded while specific–concern, general harm and side-effects correlated negatively with medication adherence from the dyad. The odds of adhering to medications increased by 58 and 64 % for each unit increase in specific-necessity and general overuse scores respectively. However, a unit increase in specific–concern score and high side-effects scores were associated with lower odds of adherence. Conclusions This study highlights the need for patient-caregiver collaborations in decision-making relating to medication adherence in schizophrenia. Thus, in clinical practice, there is the need to recognize that caregivers are essential partners, and patient-caregiver views about psychotropic medications are critical in enhancing adherence for positive mental health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1370-1380
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Pharmacy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Beliefs
  • Caregivers
  • Ghana
  • Medication adherence
  • Psychotropic medications
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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