Financial rewards should be considered to encourage some mental health out-patients to take their medication, according to researchers.
The study, reported in the Royal College of Psychiatrists journal Psychiatric Bulletin, suggests money for medication might be a way to “achieve medication adherence in otherwise non-adherent assertive outreach patients”.
Lack of adherence to anti-psychotic medication has been identified as a major obstacle to treating schizophrenia.
In a study of five previously non-adherent patients, the researchers found four accepted the offer of money and improved their adherence to their medication, with three not requiring hospital admission since entering the scheme.
But the study points out that the ethical issues need further exploration and controlled trials are needed.
Meanwhile, a study from Scotland, also reported in the journal, found eight out of 10 adolescents with a first episode of psychosis are admitted to adult psychiatric wards.