Adolescents’ commitment to continuing psychotropic medication: a preliminary investigation of considerations, contradictions, and correlatesedit
This mixed-method study examines (1) the extent to which fifty adolescents receiving wraparound treatment and prescribed psychotropic medication for various psychiatric disorders report that they would continue taking medication if the decision was entirely their own (termed “medication commitment”); (2) their general subjective experiences with medication; and (3) which medication experiences and clinical, social, and demographic factors are associated with greater medication commitment. We found that most adolescents (62%) would discontinue treatment; these “less committed” youth were more likely to report various negative medication perceptions and experiences in open-ended questions, relative to “committed” youth. Multivariate analysis indicated that significant correlates of commitment to medication were: taking antipsychotic medication, greater perceived family support, and lack of perceived coercion to take the medication; clinical or demographic factors were not significantly related to medication commitment. The results reinforce the importance of addressing youths’ concerns about medication and maximizing their participation in treatment decision-making.