Recent Survey Indicates Most Schizophrenics Have a Positive Relationship with their Psychiatrist

A recent survey revealed some overall positive things about the relationship between individuals with schizophrenia and their psychiatrists. The survey took place at the yearly meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, and was put on by Janssen, a division of the pharmaceutical company Ortho-McNeil Janssen.

According to the survey, 4 out of 5 schizophrenic individuals indicate they are treated in a courteous and respectful manner by their psychiatrist. The survey also revealed the following:

• Over three-fourths of the participants felt their psychiatrist explains information in a way that is easily understood by them.

• Approximately two-thirds have a high degree of trust in their psychiatrist.

• Approximately two-thirds also believe their psychiatrist has a genuine concern regarding their emotional needs.

• Just over half of the participants are comfortable talking about treatment options with their psychiatrist.

When it comes to the treatment of mental illness, particularly one as complex and severe as schizophrenia, a good therapeutic relationship between patient and doctor is crucial. Without it, patients are less likely to stay in treatment or adhere to their prescribed treatment regimen. When individuals with schizophrenia drop out of treatment and discontinue medication, the risk for the occurrence of a psychotic episode goes up significantly.

Studies like this will hopefully remind treatment providers and patients as well (although the onus really lies on the former) to discuss the doctor-patient relationship to address any issues or concerns that may be impacting the treatment process. If there is a lack of trust or a feeling that one’s psychiatrist doesn’t care, explain things well, or operate with respect and courtesy, discussing it and finding ways to improve it can be very empowering to the patient and may even benefit the psychiatrist’s other patients as well.

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