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Health  2023 

A Qualitative Study on What It Means for Patients with Schizophrenia Living in the Community to Remain on Medication

DOI: 10.4236/health.2023.151006, PP. 72-91

Keywords: Patients with Schizophrenia Living in the Community, Antipsychotic Drug, Narrative, Phenomenological Method

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Background: Little is known about what the experience of “taking antipsychotics” means in a patient’s life. Therefore, this study aims to identify what it means for patients with schizophrenia living in the community to remain on medication. Methods: The participants were five residents of communities, who had been discharged from a psychiatric hospital, but were currently visiting a private psychiatric hospital. In this study, we used participants’ narratives as data and analyzed them according to the procedures described in “An Application of Phenomenological Method in Psychology” (Giorgi, 1975), and “Practice of analyzing materials describing experiences” (Giorgi, 2004). Results: The study results are as follows. 1) The drug may be effective, but Subject (below, S) still wants to take it as little as possible. Meanwhile, S has people who care about S and a person who S can rely on nearby, to manage S’s life. The people above tell S to take medicine, and S takes it. 2) S does not know what kind of medication S is consuming, but recently S has been having a hard time walking; S has people who care for S’s foot and look after S. S thinks taking medicine is for living. 3) S feel some drugs is ineffective. However, S met some people S could trust who passionately recommended the medication to S. S started being careful in remembering to take it. 4) S does not think drugs are necessary for S, but S can interact with people and spend S’s days. S has people who accept S as S is. S continues living in the community while taking medicine that a doctor offers. 5) S was skeptical about the drugs. However, S has a person S can trust, who recommended a way to take the medication in a way that S does not feel overwhelmed. S thinks that it may be a good idea to take it. Conclusions: Based on the analysis of the narratives of each of the five participants, the essential structure was read from the perspective of a third party regarding participants’ medication adherence. A generalized reading of the structure common to the above five essential structures reveals a structure that includes the following three opportunities: 1) Patients realize the importance of people; 2) They sometimes entrust themselves to people or follow people’s opinions when taking actions; 3) They have come to terms with their initial negative feelings about antipsychotic drugs, subsequently continuing to take antipsychotic drugs. This suggests that the following are important attitudes of supporters of patients with


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