Financial Incentives to Improve Adherence to Medication in Five Patients with Schizophrenia in The Netherlands
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Objective: Non-adherence to antipsychotic medication is common and increases the risk of psychotic relapse. A promising intervention may be a strategy wherein financial incentives are offered. Methods: In a pilot study in The Netherlands, five patients with schizophrenia were offered financial incentives for a duration of one year to improve adherence to medication. Adherence and hospital days were measured. Results: The percentage of accepted depot injections increased from an average of 44% in the previous year to 100% in the year when financial incentives were offered. While patients had been hospitalised for an average of 100.2 days in the previous year, only one was re-admitted for 17 days during the year of the intervention. Conclusions: The differences in adherence before and after the intervention were large and of clinical significance. However, randomised controlled trials are required to provide conclusive evidence on the effectiveness of offering financial incentives and potential consequences.