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Is there an association between neurocognitive performance and medication adherence in first episode psychosis?


Professor Martin Lepage, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, McGill University, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, 6875 LaSalle Blvd., Verdun (Quebec), Canada, H4H 1R3. Email:


Aim: Medication adherence is a determining factor for symptomatic remission and relapse prevention following a first episode of psychosis (FEP). Neurocognitive abilities have received only scant attention so far as a risk factor for poor adherence but significant impairments with memory and/or planning abilities could play a role. We examined early medication adherence following admission to a specialized clinical programme for FEP.

Method: One hundred sixty FEP participants and 35 healthy controls completed an exhaustive neurocognitive assessment. FEP participants were categorized as a function of their medication adherence at 6 months into poor (n = 34), partial (n = 27) and full (n = 99) adherence, respectively. Domain-specific and global measures of cognitive ability were examined.

Results: No measure of neurocognition could significantly discriminate amongst the three medication adherence groups.

Conclusion: These results suggest no strong associations between neurocognitive abilities and medication adherence in first episode of psychosis.

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