Nurse's beliefs and knowledge about medications are associated with their difficulties using patient treatment adherence strategies
Background: The attitudes and beliefs of patients toward their treatment have been found to be an important factor in treatment outcome, particularly as it relates to treatment adherence. There are also suggestions that knowledge, attitudes and beliefs held by nurses about treatments may also be important influences on treatment outcome but there has been little research relating these to specific clinical behaviour. Aims: This study explored the knowledge and beliefs of nurses toward neuroleptic medications in the treatment of severe mental ill health with the view to identifying specific nurse training needs. Method: A convenience sample of 64 nurses was given an anonymous questionnaire. Measures taken were then related to perceived difficulties using standard adherence strategies with patients. Results: The results suggested a relationship between knowledge and attitudes such that poor knowledge and attitudes were associated with greater difficulty using standard clinical interventions. Conclusions: Poor knowledge and negative attitudes toward medications impede the effective use of adherence strategies. This study highlights the need for specific nurse training programs and further research into the educational needs of nurses. Declaration of interest: This research was financed in part by a grant from the Australian Quality use of Medicines (Grant number SG497).