An exploratory study of the role of trust in medication management within mental health services

Ian D Maidment, Patrick Brown, Michael Calnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective - To develop understandings of the nature and influence of trust in the safe management of medication within mental health services.
Setting - Mental health services in the UK.
Method - Qualitative methods were applied through focus groups across three different categories of service user—older adult, adults living in the community and forensic services. An inductive thematic analysis was carried out, using the method of constant
comparison derived from grounded theory.
Main Outcome - Measure Participants’ views on the key factors influencing
trust and the role of trust in safe medication management.
Results - The salient factors impacting trust were: the therapeutic relationship; uncertainty and vulnerability; and social control. Users of mental health services may be particularly vulnerable to adverse events and these can
damage trust.
Conclusion - Safe management of medication is facilitated by trust. However, this trust may be difficult to develop and maintain, exposing service users to adverse events and worsening adherence. Practice and policy
should be oriented towards developing trust.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)614-620
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Pharmacy
Issue number4
Early online date4 May 2011
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011

Bibliographical note

The original publication is available at


  • adult
  • aged
  • disease management
  • female
  • Great Britain
  • humans
  • male
  • medication adherence
  • medication errors
  • mental disorders
  • mental health services
  • middle aged
  • physician-patient rRelations
  • trust
  • young adult
  • adverse events
  • concordance
  • health behaviour
  • mental health
  • qualitative research
  • United Kingdom


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