Barriers to Medication Acceptance in Patients Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder

Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Dr. Barbara Gross


The problem addressed in this project was poor medication acceptance among patients with bipolar disorder in an outpatient psychiatric clinic. The practice-focused question asked about the factors that contribute to medication nonacceptance in patients with bipolar disorders and further sought to determine strategies that promote medication acceptance. The project took place in an outpatient psychiatric clinic in the southern United States. The Iowa model and the Orem self-care deficit nursing theory were used to guide the project. Deidentified data from 55 patients in an outpatient mental health clinic formed the basis of the project. The data included a survey made up of 6 open-ended questions asking about reasons for not taking prescribed medications. A second source of deidentified data was the results of the medication adherence questionnaire, a Likert-style questionnaire that asked about the level of adherence to medications. Qualitative data were examined by manually coding the results, and the quantitative questions were analyzed for frequencies and percentages. Results from the analyses indicated that 70% of patients with bipolar disorder had missed doses of medications and were not adherent to their prescribed medications. Results of the project were then used to develop recommendations for addressing medication nonadherence among patients with bipolar disorder. Recommendations included education for nursing staff on how to teach patients and their families the advantages of medication adherence and to promote self-care consistent with Orem's model of self-care. Positive social change is possible as a result of this project as patients with bipolar disorders learn self-care strategies for medication adherence.

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