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Jennifer Cooke, Richard Bowskill, Jane Clatworthy, Patrick LeSeve, Tim Rank, Rhian Parham and Rob Horne
The purpose of this paper is to compare beliefs about medication prescribed for bipolar disorder across professional groups within Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs) â€…
The purpose of this paper is to compare beliefs about medication prescribed for bipolar disorder across professional groups within Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs) â€“ psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists, support workers, social workers, and occupational therapists â€“ who each receive different training.
Participants (n=138) completed an adapted version of the Beliefs about Medicines Questionnaire. ANOVAs with Tukey's post hoc tests were used to compare beliefs across professional groups.
Beliefs about medication differed across professional groups, with psychiatrists believing most strongly that medication is necessary in the treatment of bipolar disorder (p<0.05) and reporting the lowest concern about its adverse effects (p<0.05). Psychiatrists and social workers were significantly more likely to believe that patients take less than instructed than occupational therapists, nurses and support workers (p<0.05).
The differences in perceptions of medication across professional groups may reflect differences in training, with the role of medication traditionally being â€śdownplayedâ€ť on some training courses. This has implications for patient adherence, as patients' beliefs about medication are likely to be influenced by those of their key workers. This is particularly relevant in terms of â€śNew Ways of Workingâ€ť where patients are likely to see psychiatrists less often.
This original research provides evidence to support the provision of training about medications and adherence in bipolar disorder for CMHT workers, who may not have had exposure to such training as part of their primary qualification.