Factors affecting adherence to psychotropics in trauma-affected refugees: data from a randomized controlled trial

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Non-adherence to psychotropic drugs may reduce treatment effectiveness and may cause exacerbation of illness. Among migrant populations, studies have identified low adherence to psychotropic drugs. This study aimed to identify factors that were associated with the three basic components of adherence: non-initiation, non-implementation (blood sample), and discontinuation in a clinical sample of trauma-affected refugees diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder. The data for this study is derived from a randomized controlled trial (n = 108). Based on existing literature, individual sociodemographic and clinical candidate predictor variables that may affect the initiation, continuation, and implementation to psychotropics were selected as exposure variables. Logistic regression was used to assess the risk relation between non-initiation, non-implementation, discontinuation, and the individual sociodemographic and clinical factors. Three factors – level of education, turn-up rate for medical doctor sessions, and discomfort in relation to the psychotropics – were associated with non-initiation, non-implementation, or discontinuation. The relatively small sample size poses a limitation. Furthermore, factors not examined in the current study may have affected non-initiation, non-implementation, and discontinuation. The study identified level of education, turn-up rate for medical doctor sessions, and discomfort in relation to medicine as important factors in relation to treatment with psychotropics in trauma-affected refugees. Factors contributing to a low turn-up rate, and factors that are consequences of a low turn-up rate, as well as communication and trust in the patient-provider interaction need further research attention. Furthermore, there is a need for research on interventions addressing adherence for refugees with mental illness.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Pages (from-to)272-278
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors

    Research areas

  • Adherence, Barriers, Discontinuation, Initiation, Psychotropics, Refugees

ID: 377939888