My letter on the above subject is published today in The Straits Times, Friday 26th September 2014.
I agree that compliance with medication and a good doctor-patient rapport help keep patients in a stable condition ("Patients don't always know best"; last Saturday).
There are complex reasons for non-compliance with the medication regimen. This is why family caregivers must be involved and have a proper understanding of the illness and medication regimen - the dosage, benefits and side effects, so they can monitor the patient properly.
Patients often forget to take their medication. So caregivers can make taking it part of the daily routine.
For example, the medication can be placed on the dinner table alongside supplements that other family members take regularly.
An alarm clock can be used to remind patients to take their medication, if the dosage is more frequent.
Lastly, packing the pills in containers with the date and time for consumption helps caregivers check that the medication has been taken correctly.
For patients who do not want to be reminded of their mental illness, caregivers can ask the doctor for injectable medication every few weeks.
Raymond Anthony Fernandohttp://www.straitstimes.com/premium/forum-letters/story/how-improve-medication-compliance-20140926