An exploration of perceptions affecting medication adherence in young people in early intervention services with a diagnosis of psychosis

Medication is an important intervention in the management of mental health illness and has significant mental health benefits for the individual. If a service user does not take medication as prescribed, this may adversely impact in the short and long-term through ongoing symptoms, and poorer response to medication the longer the duration of untreated illness. Services users, carers and healthcare professionals may have a variety of views, or personal experience, of why there is often a reluctance to take prescribed medication for mental illness and these views need to be sought in a systematic, evidenced based way to inform discussion about future interventions and information provision. It is anticipated that research focused on views of this younger age group, their carers and professionals working with them may guide interventions which would hope to positively impact on adherence rates with medication in the future. The 14 to 18 year age group has been neglected in research of this type to date, and therefore it is important to consider their views as they may differ from those individuals who are older.

A one year survey is proposed to explore and compare the views of young people, carers and healthcare professionals about adherence to medication. A number of focus groups and interviews will be conducted during the course of the project.

Aims and Objectives

The project has four key aims:

To explore factors that are perceived as influencing service user’s adherence to medication
To assess whether there are differences in the views of healthcare professional (HCP's), carers and service users.
To consider whether the three groups have different perceptions of what constitutes a benefit from medication.
To inform discussion about future interventions and provision of information that may positively impact on adherence rates with medication in this 14 to 18 year old age group.

Project Lead/Contact

Dr Cath Fewster – Lancashire Care Foundation Mental Health Trust


Dr Sarah Wilson – UCLan
Sonia Ramdour - LCT


Lancashire Care Foundation Mental Health Trust