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Prescribing for personality disorder: qualitative study of interviews with general and forensic consultant psychiatrists

  • Lawrence Martean (a1) and Chris Evans (a1)
Abstract
Aims and method

To explore experiences of psychiatrists considering medication for patients with personality disorder by analysis of transcribed, semi-structured interviews with consultants.

Results

Themes show important relational processes in which not prescribing is expected to be experienced as uncaring rejection, and psychiatrists felt helpless and inadequate as doctors when unable to relieve symptoms by prescribing. Discontinuity in doctor–patient relationships compounds these problems.

Clinical implications

Problems arise from: (a) the psychopathology creating powerful relational effects in consultation; (b) the lack of effective treatments, both actual and secondary to under-resourcing and neglect of non-pharmaceutical interventions; and (c) the professionally constructed role of psychiatrists prioritising healing and cure through provision of technological interventions for specific diagnoses. There is a need for more treatments and services for patients with personality disorder; more support and training for psychiatrists in the relational complexities of prescribing; and a rethink of the trend for psychiatrists to be seen primarily as prescribers.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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Prescribing for personality disorder: qualitative study of interviews with general and forensic consultant psychiatrists

  • Lawrence Martean (a1) and Chris Evans (a1)
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