Original Research

Family members’ lived experiences of non-compliance to psychiatric medication given to female adults living with depression

Jeanne M. du Plessis, Marie Poggenpoel, Chris Myburgh, Annie Temane
Curationis | Vol 44, No 1 | a2105 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v44i1.2105 | © 2021 Jeanne M. du Plessis, Marie Poggenpoel, Chris Myburgh, Annie Temane | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 August 2019 | Published: 07 January 2021

About the author(s)

Jeanne M. du Plessis, Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Marie Poggenpoel, Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Chris Myburgh, Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Annie Temane, Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Family members face the burden of adult females living with depression who do not comply with psychiatric medication. Discomfort, tension, anxiety, frustration, and related feelings of hopelessness and dysfunction were identified by family members. There have also been records of financial problems, physical ill-health, limitations on social and recreational opportunities and a general deterioration in their quality of life. There is a shortage of published literature and information on the reasons for non-compliance to psychiatric medications. The existing body of information needs to be strengthened and future approaches encouraged. The study aimed to improve compliance of adult females dealing with depression to psychiatric medical treatment and the effect it has on family members caring for adult females living with depression.

Objectives: To describe family members’ lived experiences of non-compliance to psychiatric medication by adult females living with depression.

Method: A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual study design was used. A purposive sample of family members aged between 20 and 45 years was made. Data were collected by conducting eight in-depth, phenomenological interviews, and field notes were taken. The interviews focused on the central question: ‘Tell me your experiences of living with your wife, mother, sister and daughter living with depression and not taking their medication as ordered by the doctor?’ Tesch’s method for data analysis was used, and an independent coder analysed the data and met with the researcher for a consensus discussion of the results. Measures to ensure trustworthiness were applied and ethical principles were adhered to.

Results: The three themes identified were: experienced psycho-social effects, experienced treatment refusal and experienced challenges in caring for adult females living with depression who are non-compliant to psychiatric medication. As a result, the absence of social help, disturbance of family working, shame, separation and troublesome conduct of the adult females who are non-compliant to psychiatric medication developed as principal subjects.

Conclusions: The results demonstrated that family members experienced debilitation because they needed information about their relatives living with depression who are non-compliant to psychiatric medication. More information about the management of non-compliance of psychiatric medication was needed; a comprehensive awareness of the ramifications of the findings, treatment and care are required from mental health care professionals and service providers.


Keywords

adult females; depression; non-compliant; psychiatric medication; family members lived experiences

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