Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the attitudes to medication in relation to insight, purpose in life, symptoms and sociodemographic factors among a cohort of stable patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.
Method: We included 70 patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder attending a Dublin suburban mental health service. All participants were 18 years or older and were excluded if they had a learning disability, acquired brain injury resulting in unconsciousness, and psychosis secondary to a general medical condition or illicit substance misuse. All participants were given self report questionnaires which included Drug Attitude Inventory (DAI-30), Birchwood Insight Scale, and Purpose in Life test. Symptoms were assessed using the Scale for Assessment of Positive and Negative symptoms. All data was analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences.
Results: We found that 86% (n = 60) of the participants had positive attitudes to medication, and 82% (n = 58) had good insight into their illness. Only 27% (n = 19) were found to have a definite purpose in life. There was a significant negative relationship between attitudes to medication and delusions (r = -0.25, n = 70, p < 0.05) and a significant positive relationship between insight and attitudes to medication (r = 0.0.28, n = 70, p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Many factors are involved in the multifaceted issue of attitudes to medication. Researchers must realise that these factors do not remain constant and may change with time and over the course of illness and treatment.