A pilot study evaluating the effectiveness of a medicines education group in a mental health inpatient setting: A UK perspective.
White D., Wright M., Baber B., Barrera A.
Introduction: It is estimated that up to 50% of medications for long-term conditions are not taken as prescribed. In mental health conditions, poor adherence leads to increased relapse, suicide rates, and hospitalizations. It is recommended that health care professionals aim to elicit and address beliefs and attitudes about medication, and to understand the patient's experience of taking them, as these, among other factors, affect adherence rates. This study evaluated a pilot trial of a medicines group for adult inpatients on an acute mental health ward. Methods: This study comprises a pilot service evaluation of a medicines education group through the descriptive analysis of data obtained using a tailored outcome measure using validated experience and attitude measures. The medicines education group was designed by a multidisciplinary team and focused on eliciting perceptual and practical barriers to adherence, lived experience, psychoeducation, and shared problem solving. The group was run during a period of 3 months and was compared to a baseline data set. Results: In total there were 35 medicine group attendees, there were 3 dropouts, and the outcome measure was fully completed in 68% of cases, with only 4 refusing, indicating this pilot evaluation was feasible and acceptable. Descriptive analysis found that on average, group attendees reported a better understanding of the purpose and side effects of their medication, and felt more involved in decisions about their medicines compared with the baseline data set. Discussion: This pilot evaluation found that running a novel medicines education group, targeting perceptual and practical barriers to adherence, was acceptable to attendees and feasible to deliver on an adult psychiatric inpatient unit.