Attitudes Towards Antipsychotics Among Patients with Schizophrenia on First- or Second-Generation Medications

Karthik, M. S.; Warikoo, Nisha; Chakrabarti, Subho; Grover, Sandeep; Kulhara, Parmanand
July 2014
Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine;Jul-Sep2014, Vol. 36 Issue 3, p288
Academic Journal
Background: Given the paucity of research in this area, this study attempted to assess attitudes toward antipsychotic medications and its correlates among patients with schizophrenia, either on first-generation antipsychotics (FGAs) or second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) medications. Materials and Methods: Structured assessments of attitudes to antipsychotics, psychopathology, insight and side-effects were carried out in 120 patients with DSM-IV schizophrenia; 89 of these were on SGAs and 31 on FGAs. Results: Patients had predominantly positive attitudes toward antipsychotics. Severity of side-effects was the principal correlate of attitudes, explaining 19.5% of the variance, followed by greater insight (4.2% of the variance). Other factors such as younger age, male gender, employment, higher family income, urban residence and lower symptom-severity explained only a negligible proportion of the variance (0.2%) in attitudes. Patients on SGAs had more positive views of their medications than those on FGAs. They felt more normal on their medications, believed that their thoughts were clearer on medications, felt that good things about their medications outweighed the bad and believed that their medications helped them from falling ill again. In addition, they did not feel as tired and sluggish on their medications and did not believe that medications were unnatural or controlled their bodies. Conclusions: Positive attitudes toward antipsychotics were common among patients with schizophrenia. Attitudes were principally determined by severity of side-effects and insight levels. Patients on SGAs had better attitudes, possibly because of less severe side-effects and greater insight among them. The importance of exploring patients' attitudes toward their antipsychotics is highlighted by this study.


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