To assess circumstances and frequency of use, opinions and suggestions for improvement from psychiatrists in a teaching hospital on UK Psychiatric Pharmacy Group patient information leaflets for psychotropic drugs. We also sought information from psychiatrists regarding use of alternate sources of information provision for their patients on psychotropic drugs. A questionnaire was designed, piloted and distributed.
Sixty-one psychiatrists were approached, of whom 49 (80%) responded. the most common indications for use were when initiating a new treatment and when information is sought by the individual or their carers. the most common reason for not using these leaflets was lack of awareness of their existence. Although 33 (67%) responders were of the opinion that these leaflets were useful for patients, only a small proportion was using them frequently.
Our study suggested increasing awareness among psychiatrists to encourage the use of patient information leaflets. Various other themes to improve their use also emerged including easy accessibility to the patient information leaflets, modification in the content and structure, and recording the provision of patient information leaflets in the case records.
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