Measuring chronic schizophrenic patients attitudes toward their illness and treatment

Author: McEvoy, J. P.; Aland, J.; Wilson, W. H.; Guy, W.; Hawkins, L.

Description: The right to refuse medication is a legal right now being extended by federal courts to many voluntary and involuntary mental patients. However, little is known of the insight that chronically ill mental patients bring to the decision of whether or not to accept prescribed medication. In this study, the authors interviewed 45 chronic schizophrenic inpatients to determine their understanding of their illness, need for admission, and need for medication and other treatment. Only 13 per cent understood they were mentally ill, and only 27 per cent of the patients understood that they needed medication. The findings suggest that many chronically mentally ill patients lack sufficient insight into their condition to make sound judgments about medication and treatment. Moreover, even those patients who improved with medication did not improve in their insight into their need for treatment.

Subject headings: Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Attitude to Health; Chronic Disease; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Patient Advocacy; Patient Compliance; Schizophrenia; Schizophrenic Psychology

Publication year: 1981

Journal or book title: Hospital & Community Psychiatry

Volume: 32

Issue: 12

Pages: 856-858

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Serial number: 3317

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