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A qualitative study of experiences with and perceptions regarding long-acting injectable antipsychotics: Part I-patient perspectives.

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Can J Psychiatry, Volume 58, Issue 5 Suppl 1, p.14S-22S (2013)

Abstract:

<p><b>OBJECTIVE: </b>Despite the well-acknowledged problem of poor adherence to antipsychotic (AP) medication, long-acting injectables (LAIs) that could improve adherence are underused in Canada. Attitudes concerning LAIs among patients and psychiatrists may contribute to this underuse. Our objective was to investigate perceptions of and attitudes toward LAIs among patients in Canada.</p><p><b>METHOD: </b>Focus groups were conducted with 34 patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia spectrum psychoses in 4 Canadian provinces. The focus groups inquired about experiences with and attitudes toward LAI APs. The sessions were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim, and transcripts were coded using a combination of deductive and inductive methods.</p><p><b>RESULTS: </b>Four themes emerged: awareness of and knowledge about LAIs; perceptions about LAIs; cost and convenience considerations; and issues arising from the coercive context under which LAIs were often prescribed. Nine patients had never heard about LAIs, and some others reported not having understood what was discussed with them regarding LAIs. Patients had typically heard about LAIs in either a context of coercion or of medication nonadherence. Patients had positive and negative perceptions concerning LAIs. The positive perceptions centred on relapse prevention and reduced effort in ensuring adherence, and the negative perceptions centred on financial costs and the inconvenience of appointments to receive injections.</p><p><b>CONCLUSION: </b>To enhance LAI usage, some of the issues that need to be addressed are the inadequacy of information given to patients, the element of coercion involved in LAI introduction, the pragmatic barriers to LAI uptake by patients, and negative subjective perceptions about LAIs.</p>

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