October 20, 2005

Attitudes Toward Antipsychotic Medication

Good relationships with clinicians during admission to acute treatment may improve attitudes toward and adherence to antipsychotic medication, according to UK researchers.

The study examined various factors that may influence medication compliance, including psychiatric symptoms and lack of insight, as well as factors related to the therapeutic relationship, including the client's perception of the degree of coercion during admission to hospital and the attitudes of inpatient staff.

The study involved 228 clients in eight inpatient acute care wards in Wales and England who were diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.

It was found that good insight, lack of coercion during admission, a positive relationship with the medication prescriber, involvement in treatment decisions and medications with fewer side-effects increased medication adherence.

The researchers mention limitations to the study, including the focus on the acute phase of treatment, indicating that different stages of illness and different social contexts may yield different results. They propose measures for client-centred care, including involving clients in treatment decisions, respecting clients' health beliefs and adjusting treatment to minimize negative side-effects.

Attitudes Toward Antipsychotic Medication, Archives of General Psychiatry, June 2005, v. 62: 717-724. Jennifer C. Day et al., Pharmacy Department, Mersey Care NHS Trust, Merseyside, United Kingdom.


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