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Objective: Impaired adherence to medication regimens is a serious concern for individuals with schizophrenia
linked to relapse and poorer outcomes. One possible reason for poor adherence to medication is
poor ability to remember future intentions, labeled prospective memory skills. It has been demonstrated
in several studies that individuals with schizophrenia have impairments in prospective memory that are
linked to everyday life skills. However, there have been no studies, to our knowledge, examining the
relationship of a clinical measure of prospective memory to medication management skills, a key element
of successful adherence. Methods: In this Study 41 individuals with schizophrenia and 25 healthy adults
were administered a standardized test battery that included measures of prospective memory, medication
management skills, neurocognition, and symptoms. Results: Individuals with schizophrenia demonstrated
impairments in prospective memory (both time and event-based) relative to healthy controls.
Performance on the test of prospective memory was correlated with the standardized measure of
medication management in individuals with schizophrenia. Moreover, the test of prospective memory
predicted skills in medication adherence even after measures of neurocognition were accounted for.
Conclusions: This suggests that prospective memory may play a key role in medication management
skills and thus should be a target of cognitive remediation programs.


Published in Neuropsychology. 2013 Nov 4