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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 35-42

Parental attitudes toward the prescription of psychotropic medications for their children

Department of Psychiatry, King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Fatima A Al-Haidar
Associate Professor and Child & Adolescent Consultant Psychiatrist, Department of Psychiatry #55, King Khalid University Hospital, P.O. Box 7805, Riyadh 11472
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 23012165

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Objective: To explore parental attitudes towards the prescription of psychotropic medication for their children. Method: A questionnaire built to collect socio-demographic data of parents and their attitudes was distributed among parents. Results: One thousand and ten questionnaires were filled by parents. Fathers who completed the questionnaire were double the number of mothers. Eight hundred and eighteen parents (84.3%) agreed to the dispensing psychotropic medication to their children if necessary. About 83.5% preferred to start with psychotherapy before trying medication. Fathers are more than twice likely than mothers to agree to the use of psychotropic drugs. Older parents more easily agreed to give their children psychotropic drugs. Parents who used psychotropic drug themselves were more likely to agree to the use of psychotropic drug by their children. Having a child with a psychiatric illness is the most significant factor in making parents accede to giving children psychotropic medication. Other factors such as pressure from schools and the side effects of drugs could also modify decision of parents. Conclusion: Although most parents agreed to give their children psychotropic drugs if necessary, they preferred to start with psychotherapy sessions before giving them the drugs. Fear and worries about such issues as side effects of drugs or addiction should be considered. Pressure from school should also be considered when deciding on drug therapy.

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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010