Is adherence therapy an effective adjunct treatment for patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders? A systematic review and meta-analysis

Richard Gray, Daniel Thomas Bressington, Ada Ivanecka, Sheila Hardy, Martin Jones, Michael Schulz, Suparpit von Bormann, Jacquie White, Kathryn Hoehn Anderson, Wai Tong Chien

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Poor adherence to medication in schizophrenia spectrum disorders leads to inadequate symptom control. Adherence therapy (AT) is an intervention that seeks to reduce patients' psychiatric symptoms by enhancing treatment adherence. We aimed to systematically review the trial evidence of the effectiveness of AT on improving clinical outcomes in these patients. Method: Systematic review and meta-analysis of published RCTs. We included studies testing AT as an adjunct intervention against treatment as usual or a comparator intervention in the general adult psychiatric population. The primary outcome of interest was improvement in psychiatric symptoms. Results: We included six studies testing AT in schizophrenia spectrum disorders published since 2006. A meta-analysis showed AT significantly reduced psychiatric symptoms compared to usual treatment over a follow-up period of less than 1 year. We found no significant effects of AT on patients' adherence and adherence attitudes. Conclusions: AT is an effective adjunctive treatment for people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Prospero:CRD42015016779.
Original languageEnglish
Article number90
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2016


  • Adherence
  • Adherence therapy
  • Compliance
  • Meta-analysis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizophrenia-spectrum disorders
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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