Date of Award

Spring 5-14-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)


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First Advisor

Phyllis Solomon, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jacqueline Corcoran, Ph.D.



Psychotropic Medication Adherence and Associated Issues in the Adult Forensic Population: A Rapid Scoping Review

Olivia Fojas, LCSW

Dissertation Chair: Phyllis Solomon, Ph.D.

Objective: This rapid scoping review was designed to identify the prevalence, methods of measurement, contributing factors, and interventions related to psychotropic medication adherence with the adult forensic population in institutional and community settings. Methods: Articles were retrieved from PubMed, PsycINFO, Criminal Justice Abstracts with Full Text, and the Dissertation and Thesis Full Text data base. Literature was searched for studies written in English discussing psychotropic medication adherence for adult offenders in institutional or community settings. Title/abstract were reviewed to determine eligibility for inclusion and, if met, the full text article was reviewed. Data were extracted, charted, and analyzed for studies meeting inclusion criteria. Results: Eleven articles met inclusion criteria with varied results. Factors positively associated with adherence included provider empathy, guardian supervision and older age. Factors negatively associated with adherence included younger age and substance abuse. Results were mixed regarding race, gender, therapeutic alliance, and coercion. Structured adherence programs, substance use treatment, medication algorithms and therapeutic modalities like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing had positive impacts on medication adherence. Conclusion: Variance in adherence definitions and measurements did not allow for meaningful cross comparisons between studies. More research on medication adherence is needed, particularly with offenders with serious mental illness transitioning from jail to the community.

Available for download on Saturday, April 08, 2023

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