Objective Inadequate adherence in psychiatric patients is known to lead to relapse and re-admission. The aim of this study was to introduce and evaluate a pharmacist intervention directed at psychiatric ‘on leave’ patients and their family members. At Mount Carmel Hospital, patients are sent home ‘on leave’ but given follow-up appointments. During each appointment visit, a decision is made either to send the patient back home (‘on leave’) or keep them in hospital as an in-patient.
Methods Twenty ‘on leave’ psychiatric patients who self-administer their medication and 20 family members were interviewed before the pharmacist intervention using the Medication Adherence Questionnaire; the medication adherence questions were not applicable to family members. The intervention consisting of explanation and distribution of personalised medication charts was then administered. Between 2 and 4 weeks after the pharmacist intervention, all participants (n=40) were re-interviewed using question 9 from the same questionnaire and the Medication Chart Evaluation Form.
Results The mean percentage score for knowledge concerning dosage regimen was higher after the intervention (98.0%) than before (89.0%) (p=0.001). The mean percentage score for knowledge concerning medicine type/indication was also higher after the intervention (89.3%) than before (59.2%) (p∼0.000).
Conclusions This study highlights the importance of the pharmacist's role as an educator. The medication chart helped the patients improve their medication awareness and knowledge, which increases medication adherence.
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