Learning to Dance in the Rain: Stories of Young People taking Antipsychotic Medication

Ramdour, Sonia Jane (2016) Learning to Dance in the Rain: Stories of Young People taking Antipsychotic Medication. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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Early intervention to promptly identify and treat psychosis limits the duration of untreated psychosis and improves patient outcome. Despite evidence to support efficacy, approximately 50% of young people do not take antipsychotic medication as prescribed. This research was designed to explore factors which may promote and deter teenage adherence with antipsychotic medication.
Initially intended as a quantitative study, the research pragmatically shifted to a qualitative design following recruitment difficulties. Narrative inquiry and auto-photography were used to obtain stories from ten young people prescribed antipsychotic medication as a teenager. Participants collected images illustrative of their medication journey, discussing these images and their medication stories at interview.
Analysis of data uncovered a metastory of a journey from darkness to brightness. In darkness, symptoms predominated bringing fear, isolation and unpredictability. As medication took effect, stories became brighter evidencing hope, happiness and productivity. Four stories linked to medication adherence emerged; namely endurance, motivation, control and resentment. Underpinning sub-stories included the endurance of resisting symptoms, taking medication long term and dealing with medication side effects. Sub-stories of motivations related to being well, being a ‘normal’ teenager and having a brighter future. Control was evident in the positive choices

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