European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 18, Issue 10, pp 587–595

Medication adherence for children and adolescents with first-episode psychosis following hospitalization

Original Contribution

DOI: 10.1007/s00787-009-0018-7

Cite this article as:
Gearing, R.E. & Charach, A. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry (2009) 18: 587. doi:10.1007/s00787-009-0018-7


The objective of this study was to examine the predictors associated with adherence to atypical antipsychotic medication following discharge from hospital for children and adolescents with first-episode psychosis. Sixty-five children and adolescents, age 15.35 ± 2.08 years, 59% boys, who had participated in a longitudinal cohort study examining relapse following first hospitalization for episode of psychosis were included in this study. All those studied were discharged on one of three atypical antipsychotics, risperidone, quetiapine, or olanzapine between January 1999 and October 2003. Time 1 data were collected retrospectively from medical charts using a standardized questionnaire; time 2 data were obtained using questionnaire mailed to participants’ parents a minimum of 2 years post-discharge, mean 3.9 ± 1.3 years. Variables examined as predictors of adherence fell into broad categories of biological, social and treatment variables. Discharge on concurrent pharmacologic agent for affective symptoms in addition to atypical antipsychotic, OR = 10.5 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.06–53.19] was a strong predictor of medication adherence in adolescents. The results indicated that children and adolescents discharged from their first hospitalization following a psychotic episode may be more likely to stay on prescribed antipsychotic medication if they are prescribed concurrent medication for affective symptoms.


Medication adherencePsychosisFirst-episodeSchizophreniaMood disordersRisk factorsChildrenAdolescents

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.The Hospital for Sick ChildrenTorontoCanada