Use of HIV and psychotropic medications among persons with serious mental illness and HIV/AIDS

Sungeun Lee, Aileen B Rothbard, Elizabeth Noll, Michael B Blank
Administration and Policy in Mental Health 2011, 38 (5): 335-44
Persons with serious mental illness (SMI) have higher rates of co-morbid HIV disorders compared to the general population. There are concerns that the SMI/HIV population may be receiving fewer HIV and psychotropic medications due to problems of access and concerns by providers associated with following complex medication regimes. The purpose of this study was to examine any disparity in medication treatment of the SMI/HIV population by comparing medication use and continuity of prescription fills to groups that had HIV or SMI only versus those with SMI/HIV. Study participants were adult Medicaid recipients aged 19-64 with serious mental illness and HIV receiving services in Philadelphia from 2002 through 2003. Differences between the groups in case mix characteristics, medication use rates, and continuity of psychotropic and antiretroviral medication use were compared using Chi-square, t-tests of significance, and logistic regression. Co-morbid individuals were as likely to have filled prescriptions for psychotropic and antiretroviral medications as those with a single disorder and equally persistent in their continuity of antiretroviral medication refills as those with HIV only. However, persons with co-morbid condition had lower continuity of psychotropic medication use compared to those with SMI only. Our findings suggest the need to develop an integrated medical and behavioral healthcare model to improving coordination and treatment for patients with co-occurring disorders. Future research is warranted to investigate the reasons for the discrepancy in continuity of psychotropic adherence for the SMI/HIV population.

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