Review Article

Psychotropic Medication Adherence in Children and Adolescents

Authors: Shikha Verma, MD, Ruchita Agrawal, MD


Researchers believe that almost 20% of children and adolescents struggle with chronic and persistent mental health concerns. Mental health is the leading cause of disability in the United States. Youth can struggle with several impairing mental health disorders, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, and autism spectrum disorder. Inadequately treated chronic mental illnesses can adversely affect the growing brain profoundly, including academic decline, early school dropout, cognitive deficits, interpersonal relationship concerns, aggression, suicide attempts or completion, substance use disorders, frequent hospital admissions, and inability to maintain employment. Even if diagnosed early in their course of illness, many of these individuals struggle to continue medications as prescribed. The factors predicting adherence to medications are underresearched in children and adolescents. Psychotropic medication compliance is a complicated issue that is tied to various aspects of caring for a minor individual. Hence, it is relevant to discuss factors that are predicted to contribute to noncompliance in this age group. The purpose of this review is to carefully consider the gaps in knowledge, suggesting interventions by using established instruments and clinical strategies to resolve the identified barriers for improving medication adherence. Compliance should be targeted at various levels, including the entire family tree and the treatment team.
Posted in: Mental Health32

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