Background: A cross-sectional study was conducted in patients with schizophrenia who regularly attended an outpatient clinic to examine the impact of psychopathology, side effects, and sociodemographic factors on attitudes toward antipsychotics.
Method: Sixty patients with a schizophrenic disorder according to ICD-10 criteria who had a duration of illness over 1 year and whose discharge from an inpatient unit had been at least 6 weeks earlier were investigated. Apart from the registration of demographic data, various rating scales were used: the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, the St. Hans Rating Scale for Extrapyramidal Syndromes, the Udvalg for Kliniske Undersogelser (UKU) Side Effect Rating Scale, and the Drug Attitude Inventory (DAI).
Results: Generally, the aspects describing a positive attitude toward antipsychotics on the DAI received a higher degree of assent than those characterizing a negative drug attitude. However, employment status correlated with a poorer global medication attitude on the DAI, and positive symptoms and sedation correlated with greater negative feelings on the DAI subjective negative feelings subscale.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that special attention should be paid to patients who experience positive symptoms or sedation and to those with relative absence of symptoms, who are therefore tempted to stop taking medication.