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Experiences of taking neuroleptic medication and impacts on symptoms, sense of self and agency: a systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative data

Experiences of taking neuroleptic medication and impacts on symptoms, sense of self and agency: a systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative data

Thompson, Jemima, Stansfeld, Jacki L., Cooper, Ruth E. ORCID: 0000-0002-9735-4731, Morant, Nicola, Crellin, Nadia E. and Moncrieff, Joanna ORCID: 0000-0003-1214-6974 (2019) Experiences of taking neuroleptic medication and impacts on symptoms, sense of self and agency: a systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative data. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 55 (2). pp. 151-164. ISSN 0933-7954 (Print), 1433-9285 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-019-01819-2)

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Abstract

Purpose:
Neuroleptic (antipsychotic) drugs reduce psychotic symptoms, but how they achieve these effects and how the drugs’ effects are experienced by people who take them are less well understood. The present study describes a synthesis of qualitative data about mental and behavioural alterations associated with taking neuroleptics and how these interact with symptoms of psychosis and people’s sense of self and agency.

Methods:
Nine databases were searched to identify qualitative literature concerning experiences of taking neuroleptic medication. A thematic synthesis was conducted.

Results:
Neuroleptics were commonly experienced as producing a distinctive state of lethargy, cognitive slowing, emotional blunting and reduced motivation, which impaired functioning but also had beneficial effects on symptoms of psychosis and some other symptoms (e.g. insomnia). For some people, symptom reduction helped restore a sense of normality and autonomy, but others experienced a loss of important aspects of their personality. Across studies, many people adopted a passive stance towards long-term medication, expressing a sense of resignation, endurance or loss of autonomy.

Conclusions:
Neuroleptic drugs modify cognition, emotions and motivation. These effects may be associated with reducing the intensity and impact of symptoms, but also affect people’s sense of self and agency. Understanding how the effects of neuroleptics are experienced by those who take them is important in developing a more collaborative approach to drug treatment in psychosis and schizophrenia

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2019. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Antipsychotics, Neuroleptics, Psychosis, Schizophrenia, Qualitative research
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2021 21:24
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/32759

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