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IAGMH AWARD PAPER
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 38-45

Attitude toward psychotropic medications: A comparison of the elderly and adult patients with affective and psychotic disorders


Department of Psychiatry, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sandeep Grover
Department of Psychiatry, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jgmh.jgmh_36_19

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Background: Attitude toward psychotropic medications influences medication adherence. Although there are some data on attitude toward psychotropics among the adult patients, there is a lack of data on attitude of elderly patients toward psychotropic medications. Aim: The study aimed to evaluate the attitude of elderly patients toward psychotropic medications and compare the same with adult patients. Materials and Methodology: Attitude toward psychotropic medications of 102 elderly patients and 499 adult patients diagnosed with affective or psychotic disorders were compared using self-report attitude toward psychotropic medications questionnaire. Results: Compared to adult participants, higher proportion of elderly patients considered psychotropic medications to be the most effective way to treat mental illness and believed that psychotropics are a better option for treatment of mental illnesses than alternative treatments. Compared to adults, significantly lower proportion of the elderly believed that psychotropics do not cure but can lead to substantial improvement. In terms of negative attitude toward psychotropic medications, compared to adult participants, significantly higher proportion of the elderly believed that psychotropics are unnatural and poisonous substances which are harmful; psychotropics are just sedatives, which only calm down the patients; in long-run psychotropics worsen the illness; psychotropics can make the body unnaturally hot or cold; are expensive; make the subjects weak and enervated, and it is always better to take less than the prescribed dose of these medications. Compared to adults, elderly patients had significantly higher negative attitude subscale score. Conclusion: Compared to adult patients with affective and psychotic disorders, elderly patients have more negative attitude toward psychotropic medications. Hence, clinicians managing elderly patients should always evaluate the negative attitudes of the elderly toward psychotropic medications and try to address the same, to improve the medication adherence and outcome.


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