Nurses and neuroleptic medication: applying theory to a working relationship with clients and their families

Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


This paper presents a model for the nursing management of the effects of neuroleptic or antipsychotic medication. The model addresses the contemporary issues facing nurses, their clients and families, while at the same time is congruent with the continua of effects of these medications. For many, nonadherence is directly related to undesired side effects, while for others the reasons may be multidimensional. The proposed model addresses the notion of advocacy and empowerment in the light of interventions that relate to the undesired-desired effects continuum. Underpinning this is the notion of the phases of the nurse-client relationship, which were advocated by Peplau (1952) and have since offered a framework for nursing intervention. While developing the phases of this relationship, nurses can help the client and family by assuming various roles that can enhance the relationship. It is suggested that each of these roles has an element of advocacy and an element of empowerment. It is part of the nurses' professional responsibility to help the client and their family to deal with the issues surrounding medication nonadherence.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing