Patient attitudes towards surgically implantable, long-term delivery of psychiatric medicine

Farzin Irani, Mary Dankert, Colleen Brensinger, Warren B. Bilker, Sudha R. Nair, Christian G. Kohler, Stephen J. Kanes, Bruce I. Turetsky, Paul J. Moberg, John D Ragland, Ruben C. Gur, Raquel E. Gur, Steven J. Siegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The introduction of surgically implantable medication delivery systems provides psychiatric patients with reversible, uninterrupted access to medication for up to 14 months. This study designed and administered a survey to assess patients' attitudes and beliefs towards illness, medication, and this potential new treatment method. The survey included questions about demographics, insight and attitudes towards illness, current and past medication adherence, attitudes towards psychiatric and nonpsychiatric medications, and understanding and attitudes towards surgical implants. The sample of 206 psychiatric patients was almost equally split between favorably and unfavorably considering implants. Patients favorable towards implants ascribed forgetting and failure to refill medication on time as the reasons for missing doses, recognized the benefits of medication in general, and understood that the implant would be inserted under the skin. Favorable consideration of implants was positively correlated with the desire to avoid adverse consequences of missing medicine, stay well, avoid the need for daily oral medications, and decrease family burden. Unfavorable consideration of implants was related to a preference to take medication orally, concern about feeling controlled, unwillingness to try something new, and not understanding that the implant would be placed under the skin. Demographic variables, past/current medications, specific diagnosis, and illness severity did not influence the decision. This survey elucidates patients' attitudes and beliefs towards illness, medication, and surgical implants. The results indicate that a significant proportion of patients recognize the difficulties of medication adherence and the need for better methods to attain therapeutic response. Thus, the study provides impetus for future work in this area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)960-968
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Antipsychotic agents
  • Drug delivery systems
  • Drug implants
  • Patient compliance
  • Schizophrenia
  • Treatment adherence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


Dive into the research topics of 'Patient attitudes towards surgically implantable, long-term delivery of psychiatric medicine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this