Informing patients about tardive dyskinesia: A survey of clinicians' attitudes in three countries
Bouman, Walter P.
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There is a general increase in awareness amongst clinicians of the need to inform patients about the risks and benefits of treatments offered. Neuroleptic drugs have proven effectiveness in the treatment of schizophrenia, but side effects are common and potentially serious. These include tardive dyskinesia (TD) an involuntary movement disorder associated with the long-term administration of neuroleptics. TD has an overall prevalence of 20-25% in neuroleptic-treated patients, and is potentially irreversible. The introduction of "atypical" neuroleptics in recent years may have reduced the risk of TD, but evidence for this is currently limited. According to the Code of Practice of the United Kingdom Mental Health Act, consent is the "voluntary and continuing permission of the patient to receive a particular treatment, based on an adequate knowledge of the purpose, nature, likely effects, and risks of that treatment, including the likelihood of its success and any alternatives to it." Permission given under unfair undue pressure is not consent. Ensuring valid and informed consent amongst psychiatric patients, and particularly those with a psychotic illness can be problematic. We have investigated the attitudes of consultant psychiatrists in three countries to informing their patients about the long-term risks of neuroleptic medication, in particular TD. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)