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There are serious outcomes to nonadherence to psychotropic medications in children and adolescents, including poor school performance, prolonged duration of illness, increased psychopathology, poor interpersonal relationships, increased psychiatric episodes, and suicide attempts. Medication treatment has demonstrated improved psychiatric functioning and a 50% reduction in suicidal behavior. more than 50% of youth with mental health problems are nonadherent with psychiatric medications. A review of literature examining motivational interviewing (MI) for the problem of treatment adherence in children and adolescents is discussed. MI has great potential to improve psychiatric medication adherence in adolescents. An example of how to implement MI with youth is provided.


Vanya Hamrin, Teena M McGuinness. Motivational interviewing: a tool for increasing psychotropic medication adherence for youth. Journal of psychosocial nursing and mental health services. 2013 Jun;51(6):15-8

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PMID: 23814821

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