How included are mental health service users in decisions about their medication?

Holttum, S. (2016) How included are mental health service users in decisions about their medication? Mental Health and Social Inclusion, 20 (3). pp. 141-148. ISSN 2042-8308.

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Purpose – This review considers four recent articles relating to how included service users are in decision-making about their medication in mental health services.

Design/methodology/approach – One article describes conversations between a psychiatrist and service users about medication. The second paper describes a study in which young people were supported with the aim of developing their confidence to challenge medication decisions. The third paper reports on interviews with both professionals and service users about medication decisions. The fourth paper presents a theory of how the wider context can affect medication decision-making in mental health.

Findings – The first paper shows how psychiatrists can persuade service users to accept their decisions. The second paper shows how some young people can challenge medication decisions if they have the right support. The third paper illustrates how both professionals and service users may doubt service users’ ability to decide about medication, and pessimistically suggests that shared decision-making may be unrealistic. In contrast to this, the fourth paper offers hope of changing how mental health services are organised in order to enable service users to be more empowered about medication decisions.

Originality/value – A model of shared decision making is being imported into mental health from physical health. These four papers illustrate problems with a simple transfer from physical to mental health. The present paper points to differences in apparent awareness of different clinical researchers of the need to tackle service user disempowerment in mental health care, showing how some researchers are tackling this.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine > RA0790 Mental health services. Mental illness prevention
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology > Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
Depositing User: Dr Sue Holttum
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2016 16:16
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2017 10:38

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00