Patients’ Perspective on the Value of Medication Management Appointments

Cruz, Mario; Cruz, Robyn Flaum; Pincus, Harold A.

There is ongoing concern that psychiatric medication management appointments add little value to care. The present study attempted to address this concern by capturing depressed patients’ views and opinions about the value of psychiatric medication management appointments. Methods: Seventy-eight semi-structured interviews were performed with white and African American depressed patients post medication management appointments. These interviews tapped patients’ views and opinions about the value of attending medication management appointments. Analysis: An iterative thematic analysis was performed. Findings: Patients reported greater appointment value when appointments included obtaining medications, discussing the need for medication changes or dose adjustments, and discussing the impact of medications on their illness. Additionally, greater appointment value was perceived by patients when there were non-medical conversations about life issues, immediate outcomes from the appointment such as motivation to continue in care, and specific qualities of providers that were appealing to patients. Conclusions: Patients’ perceived value of psychiatric medication management appointments is complex. Though important patient outcomes are obtaining medicine and perceiving improvement in their mental health, there are other valued appointment and provider factors. Some of these other valued factors embedded within medication management appointments could have therapeutic properties. These findings have implications for future clinical research and service delivery.


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April 7, 2017