Purpose – The aim of this paper is to ascertain the attitudes and experiences of psychiatrists, nurse prescribers, and service users with regard to the prescription of antipsychotic medication, the route of administration, and the extent of service users' involvement. Design/methodology/approach – A total of 26 psychiatrists and 12 nurses agreed to be interviewed in phase one of this study, concerning general aspects of prescribing. In phase two, 11 of the psychiatrists and five nurses from the first cohort took part in follow‐up interviews that focused specifically on their most recent prescribing experiences. In phase 3 of the study, 18 service users (14 male and 4 female) were recruited, during which their experiences of having medication prescribed was explored. Findings – This interview‐based survey found that though there was some agreement between the attitudes and perceptions of prescribers and service users, there were also some important differences including differences with respect to the purposes of prescribed medication, when to prescribe, and under what conditions depot medication produces optimal results. It is not always clear to service users as to why certain medicines were prescribed nor is the information provided always understood. A considerable amount of prescribing practice is based on assumptions. Originality/value – Even though medication (both oral and depot) has been shown to be useful in certain situations, nevertheless, the type of medication, dose and mode of administration continues to be idiosyncratic and inconsistent. This paper seeks to contribute to the debate by identifying in which pharmacological interventions for people with severe mental health problems could be improved.
The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 30, 2012
Keywords: Depot; Attitudes; Adherence; Psychiatrists; Psychiatry; Nurse prescribers
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