The Guardian’s Beliefs on Psychotropic Medications Adherence of Autistic Pediatric Patients

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Nungruthai Sooksai
Theera Rittirod
Niramol Pachanasoontorn
Somjit Maneekanonta
Nilawan Chaiyo
Spapitch Samtong
Raviwan Pienwittayapun
Chernporn Navanukraw


Background and Objectives:  Patient adherence and factors related to adherence directly and indirectly affect treatment of autistic pediatric patient.   The aims of this research were to identify the adherence level of psychotropic medications in autistic patients and factors affecting patient adherence to psychotropic medications.

Methodology: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted in guardians of patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who attended psychiatric out-patient clinic at Srinagarind hospital during January to August 2017. The instruments consisted of 1) general information of guardians 2) general information of autistic patients 3) Medication Taking Behavior in Thai (MTB-Thai) which had Cronbach’s alpha coefficient at 0.62  4) Beliefs about medicines questionnaire (BMQ) which had Cronbach’s alpha coefficient 0.73  5.) Electronic Data Capture and Coding Tool for Medication Regimen Complexity program. Data were analyzed by Mann-Whitney U test, Spearman’s rho correlation and multiple logistic regression.

Results: There were 106 guardians included in this study. Most guardians were female (79.2%), the average age was 42.7 ± 8.9 years old, mother (73.6%), completed bachelor's degree (50.9%), government officers/state enterprise officers (32.1%) and married (75.5%). In term of medication adherence, 61 guardians (57.5%) showed high level and 29 guardians (27.4%) showed medium level of medication adherence.  The major causes of medication adherence were due to the unintentional behaviors such as forgetfulness.  General-Harm scale of belief about medication had significantly negative correlation with medication adherence (rs=-0.295, p=0.016).   Guardians who don’t believe in the harm of medicine will have a significantly higher score in medication adherence than those who have such beliefs (p = 0.049). Whereas other factors were not significantly correlation.

Conclusions: 57.5% of the guardians had adherence score in high level. General-Harm scale of belief about medication is the factor that affect adherence score significantly. Long-term study should be done to be a further study to identify other causes and factors.


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