IntroductionService user's who interrupt their prescribed medication regime or even refrain from it altogether are at an increased risk of experiencing a relapse of their mental illness (Mueser et al, 2002). This is the case regardless of their diagnosis but in this assignment the author will be solely discussing those diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Literature highlights the increase in relapse rates when antipsychotic medication is not adhered to (Marder et al, 1999, Oehl et al, 2000) and in 1995 an extensive literature review was conducted by Gilbert et al (1995) which spanned studies over several decades. Their aim was to investigate the effects of withdrawing from medication and they found that those who did withdraw were three times more likely to experience a relapse than those that adhered to their antipsychotic medication as prescribed.
Madden (2007) stated that medication non concordance is an issue in the majority of homicide enquiries and this non concordance is also recognised by the government in its research paper (House of Commons, 2007) supporting the proposed mental health bill.
Involving service users in their own care is recognised as producing positive effects (Valentine et al, 2003) and the provision of information is an integral part of this process. Rose (2001) found that well informed service users were far more satisfied with the care they received and this increased satisfaction subsequently leads to increased engagement with services, increased adherence to prescribed medication and fewer relapses.
Supplying service users with information concerning their medication could also facilitate positive health promotion, not just in better management of the underlying diagnosis but also allowing service users a greater understanding of side effects and how best to manage them. It is also empowering and promotes user involvement,Powers (2003) identifies that as knowledge is power then health promotion gives people more power...