Targeting the problem of treatment non-adherence among mentally ill patients: The impact of loss, grief and stigma
The present study examined the factor structure of the Hungarian version of the Medication Adherence Rating Scale (MARS) and analyzed its association with socio-demographics, insight, internalized stigma, and the experience of loss and grief as a result of the mental illness diagnosis, using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) with a series of one covariates at a time. Mentally ill patients (N=200) completed self-report questionnaires. CFA supported the original three-factor structure although one item was moved from its original factor to another. Lower insight, higher internalized stigma, loss, and grief were significant predictors of lower treatment adherence. Lower adherence was found to be significantly associated with lower quality of life. No difference in adherence was found between different diagnostic groups, which stresses the need to examine non-adherence in the wider spectrum of mental diagnosis. The study also stresses the importance of patients' subjective experience in promoting better adherence, and raises the need to address the experience of stigma but also of less studied experiences, such as patients' feelings of loss and grief. Integrating these experiences in intervention programs might have meaningful implications for the improvement of treatment adherence and patients' quality of life.