Euthymic bipolar disorder patients with poor medication adherence are more likely to experience nonplanning impulsivity, according to Dr. Raoul Belzeaux and his associates.

Dr. Belzeaux and his associates conducted a cross-sectional study at nine centers across France. They collected data from 260 outpatients in symptomatic remission who had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder type I, type II, or not otherwise specified based on DSM-IV criteria.

The Medication Adherence Rating Scale total mean score for the study was 7.6, which is suboptimal. The standardized coefficient between nonplanning impulsivity score and MARS score was 0.156. Factors outside medication adherence, such as lifetime anxiety disorders, had little effect on impulsivity and medication adherence.

“The association between impulsivity and adherence to medication may lead to systematically evaluate impulsivity” for example, with standardized questionnaires such as the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale “in clinical practice to better predict risk of nonadherence and, thus, contribute to promote personalized treatment strategy,” the investigators concluded.

Find the full study in the Journal of Affective Disorders (doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2015.05.041).


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