Medication error in mental health: implications for primary care

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Abstract:

Medication errors are associated with significant morbidity and people with mental health problems may be particularly susceptible to medication errors due to various factors. Primary care has a key role in improving medication safety in this vulnerable population. The complexity of services, involving primary and secondary care and social services, and potential training issues may increase error rates, with physical medicines representing a particular risk. Service users may be cognitively impaired and fail to identify an error placing additional responsibilities on clinicians. The potential role of carers in error prevention and medication safety requires further elaboration. A potential lack of trust between service users and clinicians may impair honest communication about medication issues leading to errors. There is a need for detailed research within this field.

Keywords: MEDICATION ERROR; MENTAL HEALTH; PRIMARY CARE

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Health Service Studies, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, UK; Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust, St Martin's Hospital, Canterbury, Kent, UK 2: Croydon, London, UK

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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