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Article
Publication date: 30 March 2012

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) …

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare beliefs about medication prescribed for bipolar disorder across professional groups within Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs) – psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists, support workers, social workers, and occupational therapists – who each receive different training.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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).

Practical implications

The differences in perceptions of medication across professional groups may reflect differences in training, with the role of medication traditionally being “downplayed” 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 “New Ways of Working” where patients are likely to see psychiatrists less often.

Originality/value

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.

Details

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-6228

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