Objective: Lack of adherence to recommended treatment poses major clinical and economic challenges for psychiatry, and requires further examination. In this pilot study, we aimed to prospectively investigate the association between the level of understanding of psychiatric emergency department (ED) discharge recommendations and the presence of a companion with short-term treatment adherence.Method: Sixty subjects were evaluated twice: upon ED discharge and a month later. Instruments included a structured questionnaire based on the MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool for Treatment, Mini Mental State Examination, and corroboration of data with the computerized hospital medical file. In order to control for the possibility that evaluation of the understanding of recommendations might positively influence adherence, the 60 subjects were randomly assigned into 50 who were interviewed with the full survey tool and 10 who were not asked questions about their understanding of treatment and/or follow-up recommendations.Results: Understanding of discharge recommendations and the presence of a companion enhanced adherence.Conclusions: This preliminary study suggests that ensuring patients' understanding of treatment recommendations and encouraging the company of patients are achievable, practical strategies that may improve adherence and thereby promote better outcomes.
- emergency department