The Adolescent Experience of Antipsychotic Medications: Results from the ASET Study

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Length: 1 hour

Robert Foltz, PsyD

The use of antipsychotic medications has skyrocketed in recent years.  As part of this use, children and adolescents are increasingly prescribed these powerful medications in an effort to “treat” psychotic symptoms, behavioral difficulties and emotional dysregulation.  But the widespread use of these medications in young people is not firmly established with an “evidence base.”  As a result, the effectiveness of these interventions is largely based on adult studies or anecdotal reports. 

The Adolescent Subjective Experience of Treatment (ASET) study surveyed 74 adolescents related to their perceptions of treatment effectiveness.  The majority of these severely troubled youth are prescribed antipsychotic medications.  This presentation reviews the current trends in antipsychotic use, and highlights the perceptions of effectiveness, as articulated in the ASET study, by adolescents.  While some of these participants were given diagnoses reflecting a psychotic disorder, across all youth prescribed antipsychotics, many study participants had an overall negative impression of being on medications.  Their perceptions of medication effectiveness related to specific symptoms are also examined.

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