The Texas Medication Algorithm Project Patient and Family Education Program: A Consumer-Guided Initiative
J Clin Psychiatry 2000;61(7):477-486
© Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Educating patients with mental illness and their families
about the illness and its treatment is essential to successful
medication (disease) management. Specifically, education provides
patients and families with the background they need to
participate in treatment planning and implementation as full
"partners" with clinicians. Thus, education increases
the probability that appropriate and accurate treatment decisions
will be made and that a treatment regimen will be followed. The
Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP) has incorporated these
concepts into its philosophy of care and accordingly created a
Patient and Family Education Program (PFEP) to complement the
utilization of medication algorithms for the treatment of
schizophrenic, bipolar, and major depressive disorders. This
article describes how a team of mental health consumers,
advocates, and professionals developed and implemented the PFEP.
In keeping with the TMAP philosophy of care, consumers were true
partners in the program's development and implementation. They
not only created several components of the program and
incorporated the consumer perspective, but they also served as
program trainers and advocates. Initially, PFEP provides basic
and subsequently more in-depth information about the illness and
its treatment, including such topics as symptom monitoring and
management and self-advocacy with one's treatment team. It
includes written, pictorial, videotaped, and other media used in
a phased manner by clinicians and consumer educators, in either
individual or group formats.