Recent mental health policy has focused on developing community-based services, but the reality remains that patients experiencing acute episodes of illness are mainly cared for in hospital settings. Acute Mental Health Nursing has been developed as a guide to the core knowledge and skills required for working in inpatient settings.
A considerable amount of time is spent helping patients, mainly suffering from psychotic illnesses, to manage their medication. Anti-psychotic medication is without doubt effective in alleviating psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions. If taken continuously anti-psychotic medication is also effective at keeping psychotic symptoms under control (preventing relapse) allowing people to leave hospital and hopefully continue with their lives. However, anti-psychotic medication does not fulfil its clinical potential with many more people relapsing once they leave hospital than necessary. This is, at least in part, as a result of non-compliance with medication. The reasons why people stop taking their medication are complex but some of the more important factors that affect compliance include patients' awareness of their illness, their beliefs about ...