Nonadherence to medication regimens is frequently reported in bipolar I disorder (BDI) patients. However, little is known about the relationship between cognitive functions and adherence in BDI. To establish possible associations between medication adherence and cognitive function in patients with BDI. A total of 110 inpatients with BDI were subjected to the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorder, Morisky 8-Item Medication Adherence Scale, Young Mania Rating Scale, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised, Wechsler memory scale (WMS) and Wisconsin card sorting test (WCST). Patients were assessed on admission and followed up 6 months after discharge. Six months after discharge, (58.2%) of patients were nonadherent to their medications. The nonadherent group were younger males with less years of education, with lower mean scores in information orientation and visual memory backward domains of WMS and lower mean scores in perseveration responses, perseveration errors and learning to learn domains of WCST. In logistic regression analysis, younger age and impaired information orientation domain of WMS were putative predictors of nonadherence. Episodic memory and younger age were the strongest patients’ related factors associated with nonadherence to medication. These results suggest that rehabilitation of specific cognitive skills may improve adherence in BDI.
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