Homeless women with schizophrenia reported lower adherence to their medication than men: results from the French Housing First experience
OBJECTIVE The aim of this study was to examine the complex relationships among neurocognition, insight and nonadherence in patients with schizophrenia. METHODS DESIGN Cross-sectional study. INCLUSION CRITERIA Diagnosis of schizophrenia according to the DSM-IV-TR criteria. DATA COLLECTION Neurocognition was assessed using a global approach that addressed memory, attention, and executive functions; insight was analyzed using the multidimensional 'Scale to assess Unawareness of Mental Disorder;' and nonadherence was measured using the multidimensional 'Medication Adherence Rating Scale.' ANALYSIS Structural equation modeling (SEM) was applied to examine the non-straightforward relationships among the following latent variables: neurocognition, 'awareness of positive symptoms' and 'negative symptoms', 'awareness of mental disorder' and nonadherence. RESULTS One hundred and sixty-nine patients were enrolled. The final testing model showed good fit, with normed χ(2) = 1.67, RMSEA = 0.063, CFI = 0.94, and SRMR = 0.092. The SEM revealed significant associations between (1) neurocognition and 'awareness of symptoms,' (2) 'awareness of symptoms' and 'awareness of mental disorder' and (3) 'awareness of mental disorder' and nonadherence, mainly in the 'attitude toward taking medication' dimension. In contrast, there were no significant links between neurocognition and nonadherence, neurocognition and 'awareness of mental disorder,' and 'awareness of symptoms' and nonadherence. CONCLUSIONS Our findings support the hypothesis that neurocognition influences 'awareness of symptoms,' which must be integrated into a higher level of insight (i.e., the 'awareness of mental disorder') to have an impact on nonadherence. These findings have important implications for the development of effective strategies to enhance medication adherence.