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Choosing to Use Compared to Taking Medication: The Meaning of Medication as Described by People Who Experience Schizophrenia


  • Conflict of Interest Statement

    The authors report no actual or potential conflicts of interest.



The use of medication is an important aspect within the experience of schizophrenia.

Design and Methods

Interviews with 14 people with schizophrenia were analyzed using van Kaam's psychophenomenological method, and findings revealed two opposing and important attitudes toward medication.


Adopting an attitude of choosing to use prescribed medication means autonomously self-managing medication and taking prescribed medication means feeling challenged and being under external pressure through being told or forced by others and therefore having no personal connection to the details or purpose of medication.

Practice Implications

Nurses need to actively work in partnership to support consumers to take an active stance toward choosing to use medication rather than ensuring consumers take medication.