International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 614–620 | Cite as

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

  • Ian D. MaidmentEmail author
  • Patrick Brown
  • Michael Calnan
Research Article


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.


Adverse events Concordance Health behaviour Mental health Qualitative research United Kingdom 



We acknowledge the co-operation of service users from Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust in this research project.



Conflicts of interest

IM has undertaken consultancy for pharmaceutical companies that produce medication used within mental health services including Eli Lilly, BMS, Lundbeck, Servier and Astra Zenecca. PB and MC none.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian D. Maidment
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Patrick Brown
    • 3
  • Michael Calnan
    • 4
  1. 1.Pharmacy Department, Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership TrustEastern and Area Coastal Office, St Martin’s HospitalCanterbury, KentUK
  2. 2.Centre for Health Services StudiesUniversity of KentCanterburyUK
  3. 3.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social ResearchUniversity of KentCanterburyUK

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