Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Cheryl Holly


Failure to adhere to medication regimens is a serious problem that affects both the patient and the health care system. Psychiatric patients have the lowest rates of adherence, as low as 24%. The evidence shows that nonadherence to medication is a global challenge in the field of mental illness and is linked with a poor prognosis. Patients who are nonadherent to medications experience exacerbations of their mental illness, which can lead to rehospitalization, poor psychosocial outcomes, relapse of symptoms, reduced effectiveness of subsequent treatment, wastage of limited health care resources, increased substance abuse, poor quality of life, and increased risk of suicide. A gap in practice exists with assessment and promotion of medication adherence in the mentally ill patient by psychiatric staff. The project focused on outpatients diagnosed with a mental illness. A one-hour PowerPoint and discussion session on assessment and promotion of medication adherence in the mentally ill population was conducted. Pre- and posttests using the Behavioral Health Care Competency survey determined success of the project. The knowledge to action framework guided the implementation of the project. Using descriptive statistics, findings indicated that the integrated education module had a neutral impact (pretest mean = 94%; posttest mean =93%) on increasing staff knowledge, skills, and confidence in the assessment and promotion of medication adherence in mental illness. Staff, therefore, have the knowledge, skill, and confidence to address nonadherence, and by presenting the program, awareness of the necessity to conduct ongoing assessment and monitoring of adherence to medication regimens was increased, promoting social change.