An exploration of the concept of self-administration of medication and its applicability to Older Persons Mental Health (OPMH) services.
Background to a project that was investigating how to introduce the self-administration of medication within OPMH services.
Future directions of the self-administration of medication within OPMH.
This paper aims to report on the literature related to self-medication programmes that contributed to the development of an Older Persons Mental Health (OPMH) specific pathway for a self-administration of medication (SAM) programme. The traditional methods used within mental health inpatient environments to administer medication are paternalistic and resonant of the medical approach to care. There is a need to investigate innovative methods in the management of depression in older adults that reflect an individualized, innovative approach to redress the power imbalance for patients. Electronic databases were searched using the search strategy of Hek et al. to identify key themes in the implementation of self-administration programmes. Seven themes emerged from the literature review: the structure of SAM, assessments and risks associated with SAM, patient education, SAM and medication adherence, the patients’ perspective, advantages and barriers to SAM, and professional issues. These findings were then used as the foundation for a project to develop an OPMH specific pathway for the implementation of SAM. There is a distinct lack of implementation of SAM programmes across the UK, especially within mental health services. Older Persons Mental Health is ready for the implementation of change in medicines management for older adults. Self-administration of medication can ensure all the principles of NHS plan relating to individualized person-centred care are achieved. Nurses have the opportunity to actively contribute to this process, facilitating and empowering those in their care to be experts within their journey and take control of their illness.