This study examined parolees' taking of their antipsychotic medication as a function of three program characteristics: level of coercion to enter treatment, type of medication prescribed (typical versus atypical), and whether the parolee had a "guardian" to ensure that the medication was taken as prescribed.
Data were collected from a sample of 150 parolees enrolled in psychiatric outpatient clinics operated by the California Department of Corrections. To be eligible for participation in the study, parolees must have been admitted to the clinic within the previous 30 days and have been prescribed antipsychotics at least 1 week prior to the study. Participants completed the Perceived Coercion Scale to measure their perceptions of freedom, choice, ideation, control, and influence concerning their admission to the clinic. Urine specimens were collected at the conclusions of sessions at the time of admission to the clinic and at two follow-up interviews at 3 and 6 months after admission, in order to determine adherence to prescribed medication. Guardian supervision was determined through a self-report interview question. Two of the three factors were significant predictors of adherence to the prescribed medication, i.e., atypical rather than typical antipsychotic medication and guardian supervision. These two factors combined to produce nearly a tenfold increase in the likelihood of patients testing positive for their prescribed medicine. 2 tables, 1 figure, and 26 references