Online Program

Adherence to medication regimens in bipolar disorder: A subjective narrative

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 9:10 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Ruth C. White, PhD, MPH, MSW, Department of Anthropology, Sociology and Social Work, Seattle University, Seattle, WA
BACKGROUND: This paper will explore the complex social, psychological, physical and emotional factors that influence adherence to medications in the treatment of bipolar disorder. Adherence to medications plays an important role in the management of this chronic illness. It is also its chronicity that impacts motivations and behaviors related to adherence. CONTENT: The presenter will intertwine her own story of living with bipolar disorder with evidence-based science to illustrate to the audience how these factors play out in the life of one individual. Because practitioners see their clients when they are not well, the perceptions they have are based on behaviors that are part of the 'ill identity' of their clients. The cyclical nature of bipolar disorder often means that the 'well identity' fosters non-adherence despite the evidence that the medications are working. Furthermore, how adherence impacts the social and economic lives of the client will be discussed. STRATEGY: The author will use a short highly focused presentation to initiate a longer Q & A session that will allow attendees to ask questions they may not feel free to ask their clients because of the client relationship. From side effects to stigma, food restrictions to cost, dosage times to pill burden, the barriers to adherence will be explored and strategies for implementing successful medication treatment regimens that work in conjunction with other intervention strategies will be presented. OUTCOME: Attendees will have a toolkit of strategies to support adherence to drug regimens in bipolar disorder and other chronic, cyclical disorders.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the complex interplay of personal, social, psychological and emotional factors that influence medication adherence in people living with bipolar disorder. Design strategies for improving adherence to medication in the treatment of bipolar disorder and other brain disorders

Keyword(s): Adherence, Mental Illness

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have lived with bipolar disorder for more than 10 years. I have written a successful book on bipolar disorder and am writing another under contract which will focus on bipolar relapse prevention. I maintain a science-focused blog on bipolar disorder. I have a BSW and MSW and have worked in mental health settings. I also have a PhD in social welfare and have taught social work for 13 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.