A cross-sectional study of factors associated with anti-depressant medication adherence in women attending an out patient psychiatry department

  • Mrinalini Reddy SRM Medical College and Hospital, Chennai
  • Pallavi Abhilasha
  • Thirunavukarasu Manikam
  • Rajkumar Ramanathan
  • Suresh Kumar
Keywords: Depression, medication adherence, compliance, female patients


Introduction: Treatment adherence and illness may not be related only by the severity of the illness but by so many other factors which impact on seeking and continuing treatment; yet severity of the illness will be one of the major factors influencing treatment adherence.

Methods: Female patients attending the psychiatric OPD, diagnosed with depression as per ICD-10 guidelines and provided informed consent participated in this questionnaire-based study. A total of 135 patients who attended the OPD in 9 months were assessed for the severity of depression and medication adherence by administering scales to assess the severity of depression and medication adherence was assessed by questioning about the drug taking and hospital attending behaviour. Out of this, thirty-one were attending for the first episode and hence were excluded from the analysis.

Results: Out of the 104 female patients diagnosed with depression of more than one episode, 44 (42.3%) had mild depression, 52 (50%) had moderate depression and 8 (7.7%) had severe depression. Twenty-nine women (27.9%) were on medications and 75 (72.1%) women were not taking their medications. While greater proportion of women with mild depression were adherent to medication (51.7%), more women with moderate depression didn’t adhere to medication (54.7%), even though such difference was statistically not significant. Older age, having a paid work and married status were significantly associated with medication (antidepressants) adherence.

Conclusions: Our results indicate that medication adherence is associated with factors other than severity of depression. Work and marital status played a significant role in determining the adherence to antidepressant medications among women. 

Keywords: Depression, medication adherence, compliance, female patients