Medication knowledge and beliefs in patients with major depressive disorder at a tertiary health facility in north east Nigeria
Background: Achieving positive clinical outcomes with antidepressant drug therapy depends on patients having adequate knowledge and positive beliefs about their prescribed medication.
Objectives: To assess medication related knowledge and beliefs about medicines in patients with major depressive disorder.
Materials and Methods: A cross sectional study was carried out from December 2018 to March 2019 at Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Maiduguri, Nigeria. Patients who agreed to participate in the study (n=151) were interviewed with patient knowledge about medication and belief about medicine questionnaires.
Results: About 82.8 % of the patients had suboptimal knowledge of their medications. Over half (60.3%) of them had strong beliefs regarding the necessity of their prescribed medications. Almost half (47.7%) of them also had strong concerns about the potential harm and adverse effects of their medications. The odds for strong beliefs regarding the necessity of their prescribed medication were about 8 times greater in patients with primary level of education than those with no formal education (p=0.026, OR=8.00) and 4 times in married people (p=0.024, OR=4.77).
Conclusion: Patients with major depressive disorder in this study had suboptimal knowledge of their medication and an appreciable number of them had strong beliefs regarding the need for their medications. However, about half of the patients also had strong beliefs about the potentials of their medications to cause harm. The odds to have strong beliefs on the need for medication were positively associated with disease severity, being married and increasing level of education. Interventions aimed at improving medication knowledge and addressing negative beliefs about medications are therefore recommended.
Keywords: Medication knowledge, Medication beliefs, Major depressive disorder, Nigeria
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