Background: Bipolar disorder is a common psychiatric disorder with a great psychological and social burden. Research indicates that therapeutic adherence in these patients is low. On the other hand, family knowledge about the disorder is one of the basic principles of treating this disorder. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the knowledge of family members of patients with bipolar I disorder and the reasons for treatment non-compliance in Iran.
Methods: This study was conducted by qualitative content analysis method. In-depth interviews were categorized by open coded inductive method based on common meanings and continuous comparisons into subcategories and main subcategories.
Results: The findings of this study indicated that the components of the viewpoints of the families of patients with bipolar I disorder, consisted of five themes: a) information about the disorder, b) information about the medications, c) information about the treatment and the role of the family in it, d) causes of patient’s medication non-compliance, and e) family guidelines for patient’s medication compliance.
Conclusions: This study showed that family members did not have enough information about the nature of bipolar I disorder and related this to the lack of education. They did not know what causes the recurrence of the disorder and did not have sufficient knowledge about the prescribed drugs and treatment. Also, most families did not know the etiology of the disorder. Lack of knowledge among families can have a significant impact on relapse and therapeutic non-compliance of patients. It seems that these points need to be further emphasized in the education of families. The results of this study will be used to design guidelines and protocols for relapse prevention and family education and reduce the costs.