The lived experiences of people with schizophrenia prescribed atypical antipsychotic medication

Gill, A ORCID: 2013, The lived experiences of people with schizophrenia prescribed atypical antipsychotic medication , PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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This thesis looks at the lived experiences of people with schizophrenia who are prescribed the newer atypical as opposed to the older forms of typical antipsychotic medication.
The older (typical) neuroleptic forms of medication have been shown to produce unpleasant side-effects that cause severe problems with everyday functioning and thus affect patients’ quality of life.
Existing research has shown that people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia are excluded from society and are often labelled deviant and suffer from discrimination. A person with schizophrenia is often ridiculed and not listened to, with the media portraying them as dangerous and mad. There is no available evidence that has produced detailed, valid accounts of how patients themselves construct meaning in their lives, and in particular how medication has affected them.
A purposeful sample of 19 patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia being prescribed atypical neuroleptic medication, were selected.
This study utilised a combination of data collection techniques, which included patient diary-keeping (for four weeks) and individual face-to-face interviews at the mid- and end-points of the diary-keeping period. The use of 19 diaries and 38 interviews gave a unique, original and a very detailed insight into the lived experiences of people with schizophrenia.
The data analysis was informed by a phenomenological approach, utilising the work of Erving Goffman. The emergent five core concepts from the data were analysed using Burnard’s content analysis.
Patient accounts reported a loss of identity and a loss of control over their lives. Stigma from the public and the media continues to greatly affect their quality of life. Many patients felt disempowered by the mental health services and wanted to see changes made in order to allow them to develop a better quality of life and feel empowered and integrated fully into society.
The findings of the study give a unique and wonderful insight into how a person with schizophrenia lives their life, and it is clear that the stigma associated with schizophrenia has a negative impact on individual’s lives. People with schizophrenia want and need to be listened to, in order for them to have an improved quality of life. It is clear that their lived experiences should be taken into consideration when implementing policy development in order to reduce the social isolation associated with schizophrenia.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Depositing User: Dr Tony Gill
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2020 14:04
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 21:36

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