Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



First Advisor

Patrick J. Aragon

Second Advisor

Philip D. Farber

Third Advisor

Nicholas L. Weatherly

Fourth Advisor

Lisa A. Steelman


According to the American Psychological Association (2019), approximately 25% of the adult US population has a mental illness. The cost to individuals as well as the United States government is significant, as it has been found that approximately 100-300 billion dollars spent annually are attributed to medication non-compliance (Iuga & McGuire, 2014). There has been significant research completed with regards to medication non-compliance within specific populations including individuals afflicted with Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder. However, there is a significant gap in the literature regarding psychotropic medication non-compliance in the general mental health outpatient population, as well as with regards to the barriers to compliance with psychotropic medication. The present study sought to identify which factors including: Forgetting, Adverse Side Effects, Financial Reasons, Religious Reasons, History of Addiction, Unsure if Medications are Working, and Inconvenience: significantly increase

medication non-compliance in the general outpatient mental health population. The survey utilized in this study was used to identify medication non-compliance and its factors within the local population. The survey was disseminated to two local community mental health outpatient clinics and participants (n=195) were asked to provide information regarding medication compliance behaviors. Results of the study found that no individual factor significantly predicted medication non-compliance F (8,89) = .90, p= .52. Adverse Side Effects and Forgetting, on the other hand, were found to be more likely than other factors to predict the non-compliance. It was also found that Adverse Side Effects were found to be significantly more likely to result in the individual terminating their medication usage without first consulting their medication provider F (8,63) = 3.46, p<.002, with an R2 of 0.31. Contrary to the hypothesis, no significant difference was found between individuals’ medication non-compliance and the inclusion of a prescribed antipsychotic medication (M = 0.63, SD= 0.49; M=0.5, SD = 0.58). Despite inconsistent results, it is noted that Adverse Side Effects is recognized as a factor that is significantly likely to influence individuals terminating their medication usage without consulting their provider. It is also beneficial to acknowledge that Forgetting and Adverse Side Effects are likely to be target factors for preventative action to be taken by medication providers. Future studies may add to this literature by examining the efficacy of preventative measures on medication non-compliance factors such as Forgetting and Adverse Side Effects.


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