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Living with antipsychotic medication side-effects: The experience of Australian mental health consumers

Morrison, P., Meehan, T. and Stomski, N.J. (2015) Living with antipsychotic medication side-effects: The experience of Australian mental health consumers. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 24 (3). pp. 253-261.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/inm.12110
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Abstract

The present study explores people's experience of living with antipsychotic medication side-effects. Qualitative data were gathered through semistructured interviews with 10 mental health consumers in a community care setting in Australia. The interview transcriptions were content analysed, and enhanced by combining manifest and latent content. Important contextual cues were identified through replaying the audio-recordings. Several main themes emerged from the analysis, including the impact of side-effects, attitudes to the use of medication and side-effects, and coping strategies to manage medication side-effects. Each participant reported between six and seven side-effects on average, which were often pronounced and had a major disruptive impact on their lives. Of these effects, the most commonly mentioned was sedation, which the participants described as leaving them in a 'zombie'-like state. Most participants expressed an attitude of acceptance about the side-effects. The participants' most common strategy to manage side-effects was to change the dosage of the medication. Other common side-effect management strategies involved using other medications to control side-effects, and diverse self-help techniques, the most common of which was relaxation/distraction techniques.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Health Professions
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright: © 2014 Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/24904
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