Adherence of mentally stable patients to antipsychotic medications in a mental healthcare institution in Limpopo Province, South Africa
The aim of this study was to determine the level of adherence of mentally stable schizophrenic patients to antipsychotic medication. A descriptive, exploratory and contextual qualitative research design was used. The study site was Thabamoopo Mental Healthcare Institution in the Capricorn District of the Limpopo Province, South Africa. The population consisted of all mentally stable schizophrenic patients. Non-probability purposive sampling was used to select participants for this study. A total of 14 mentally stable patients were included in the interviews. The participants described their experience while on medication during the semi-structured interview sessions. Tesch’s open coding data analysis method (1990) as outlined in Cresswell (2009) was used. The results of this study indicated that participants shared same viewpoints related to aspects of adherence to antipsychotic treatment; the mentally stable patients have knowledge related to the causes of mental illness; poor adherence to antipsychotic treatment results from the health seeking behaviour of the patients. The need to establish motivational classes in a mental health institution to eliminate negative feelings among schizophrenic patients was recommended. Aids like medication boxes and alarms could be used to assist with adherence. Patients must be educated about the importance of adherence and further encouraged to bring along the treatment containers in order to check the number of tablets remaining which is verification method for the level of adherence to treatment.
Keywords: Adherence, schizophrenic stable patients, antipsychotic medication.
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