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May 1978

Schizophrenic and Medical Inpatients as Informed Drug Consumers

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1978;35(5):645-647. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1978.01770290127012

• Twenty-five schizophrenic inpatients receiving antipsychotic medications were evaluated as informed and/or consenting drug consumers by means of a structured interview, in comparison with a matched group of medical inpatients receiving nonpsychotropic drugs. Medical patients were better informed about positive aspects of medication, such as name, dose, and relationship of drug treatment to a specific diagnosis. Schizophrenic patients, however, were significantly better informed about both side effects and risks. Although both groups felt that their medication had helped them, 93% of the medical patients but only 56% of the schizophrenic patients said they would take the medication if they had the choice. The fact that schizophrenic inpatients readily shared their reluctance to take medication with an interviewer may offer an avenue for detection and intervention to improve prospects for outpatient compliance.

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