Given the paucity of research in this area, this study attempted to assess attitudes towards second-generation antipsychotic medications and their correlates among the patients with schizophrenia and their relatives.Methods
Structured assessments of attitudes to medications, psychopathology, insight/knowledge, side effects, functioning and treatment satisfaction were carried out in a random sample of 50 patients with DSM-IV schizophrenia and their relatives. All, except one of the patients, were on second-generation antipsychotics.Results
Most patients had positive attitudes towards second-generation antipsychotics. Severity of positive symptoms and higher burden of side effects (e.g. sexual dysfunction, weight gain and sedation) emerged as the principal correlates of negative attitudes among patients. Greater awareness of illness, being employed, better social functioning and greater treatment satisfaction were all associated with positive attitudes among patients. Relatives had significantly more positive attitudes towards antipsychotics than patients and were more satisfied with the treatment. They were well informed about the illness, and their level of knowledge had a significant association with positive attitudes.Conclusions
Effective antipsychotic treatment, which improves functioning and minimises side effects could lead to more favourable attitudes towards antipsychotics among patients. Increasing awareness of illness, enhancing treatment satisfaction and involving relatives in treatment could also be of help. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.