Experiences and motives relative to psychiatric medication choice

Margaret Swarbrick, David Roe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The purpose of the present study was to investigate and describe from the participants' perspectives the factors and processes influencing their choice as to whether to use prescribed psychiatric medication. Methods: Thematic content analysis of data was obtained from semi-structured interviews with 19 individuals diagnosed with mental illnesses. Results: Central themes related to using psychiatric medication were negative side effects, feeling like a "guinea pig," stigma, and struggling with the decision to continue or not to continue to take medication. The consequences of this decision were also considered. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: Our findings support the notion that "non-adherence" related to psychiatric medication is not simply a "problem" but rather a complex issue requiring personalized attention. To further examine the potential usefulness of psychiatric medication, it is important that medication be perceived as personally relevant and that medication issues be discussed within the context of an ongoing authentic dialogue between medication prescriber and user.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-50
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatric Rehabilitation Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Compliance
  • Consumer direction
  • Consumer experience
  • Shared decision making

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Rehabilitation
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)


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