Use of Photovoice to Understand the Experience of Taking Psychotropic Medications

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Previous work has reported that medication experience may affect medication-related problems, adherence, and quality of life. The purpose of this study was to explore medication experience of individuals taking psychotropic medication from the patient perspective using photovoice methodology. Nineteen participants were given a camera and were asked to photograph their medication experience. Individual and focus group sessions were held for photo reflection and discussion. Transcript data were analyzed to arrive at a model of medication experience. Specific medication experiences, including recognizing medication’s benefits, occurrence of side effects, developing medication-taking routine, feeling burden from medications, and benefiting from nonmedication therapies, influenced medication acceptance, but in varying ways. Participants wanted their providers to understand their medication experience. Health care providers should consider exploring medication experience of patients with mental illness. Additional research is needed to evaluate whether exploring patients’ medication experience in the clinical setting can improve patient-centered health care outcomes.

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