The Effectiveness of Psychoeducation Intervention on Medication Adherence in Bipolar Disorder

Statement of Problem: Patients with bipolar disorders do not adhere to medications causing recurrence of symptoms and worsening progression of the disease. Psychoeducation is a common intervention by which patients with BD are taught about their disease process and ways to cope with their symptoms and disease. A systematic review of current research was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of psychoeducation as an intervention and its effect on medication adherence in patients with bipolar disorder. Sources of Data: PsycINFO, CINAHL, and PubMed were used for the systematic review. Key search terms used were, “psychoeducation bipolar disorder,” “ bipolar disorder intervention,” “bipolar adherence,” “bipolar medication,” “bipolar disorder,” and “bipolar non adherence.” The reference lists of studies were also reviewed to identify additional studies meeting the inclusion criteria. Conclusions Reached: Five studies showed statistically significant evidence that psychoeducation intervention is effective in increasing medication adherence in patients with bipolar disorder. The studies took place outside of the United States and were in the countries of Iran, Spain, and Turkey. Additional findings from the studies report that an increase in medication adherence associated with the psychoeducational intervention also led to a decrease in the length and frequency of psychiatric hospitalization, decrease in relapses into mania or depression and an improvement in quality of life. Psychoeducation holds the potential of being considered an evidence based intervention and gold standard for treatment of patients living with BD. Psychoeducation is an intervention that nurses, physicians, or therapists can effectively implement.