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A qualitative exploration of family members' perspectives on reducing and discontinuing antipsychotic medication

Lewins, Amy; Morant, Nicola; Akther-Robertson, Johura; Crellin, Nadia E; Stansfeld, Jacki L; Smith, Ruth; Moncrieff, Joanna; (2022) A qualitative exploration of family members' perspectives on reducing and discontinuing antipsychotic medication. Journal of Mental Health 10.1080/09638237.2022.2069710. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Antipsychotics are routinely prescribed to people diagnosed with schizophrenia or psychosis on a long-term basis. Considerable literature explores service users' opinions and experiences of antipsychotics, but studies investigating family members' views are lacking. AIMS: To explore family members' perspectives on antipsychotics, particularly their views on long-term use, reduction and discontinuation of antipsychotics. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 family members of people experiencing psychosis. Participants were recruited through community support groups and mental health teams. Interviews were analysed thematically. RESULTS: The majority of family members valued antipsychotic medication primarily in supporting what they saw as a fragile stability in the person they cared for. Their views of medication were ambivalent, combining concerns about adverse effects with a belief in the importance of medication due to fears of relapse. They described a need for constant vigilance in relation to medication to ensure it was taken consistently, and often found changes, particularly reduction in medication difficult to contemplate. CONCLUSIONS: Findings highlight that family members' attitudes to medication sometimes conflict with those of the people they care for, impacting on their health and the caring relationship. Family members may need more support and could be usefully involved in medication decision-making.

Type: Article
Title: A qualitative exploration of family members' perspectives on reducing and discontinuing antipsychotic medication
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/09638237.2022.2069710
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/09638237.2022.2069710
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Keywords: Psychosis, antipsychotic, carer, discontinuation, family member, qualitative research, reduction
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10148152
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