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Original Research

The Texas Medication Algorithm Project Patient and Family Education Program: A Consumer-Guided Initiative

Marcia G. Toprac, A. John Rush, Therese M. Conner, M. Lynn Crismon, Mary Dees, Cynthia Hopkins, Vicki Rowe, and Steven P. Shon

Published: July 31, 2000

Article Abstract

Educating patients with mental illness and their familiesabout the illness and its treatment is essential to successfulmedication (disease) management. Specifically, education providespatients and families with the background they need toparticipate in treatment planning and implementation as full”partners” with clinicians. Thus, education increasesthe probability that appropriate and accurate treatment decisionswill be made and that a treatment regimen will be followed. TheTexas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP) has incorporated theseconcepts into its philosophy of care and accordingly created aPatient and Family Education Program (PFEP) to complement theutilization of medication algorithms for the treatment ofschizophrenic, bipolar, and major depressive disorders. Thisarticle 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 truepartners in the program’s development and implementation. Theynot only created several components of the program andincorporated the consumer perspective, but they also served asprogram trainers and advocates. Initially, PFEP provides basicand subsequently more in-depth information about the illness andits treatment, including such topics as symptom monitoring andmanagement and self-advocacy with one’s treatment team. Itincludes written, pictorial, videotaped, and other media used ina phased manner by clinicians and consumer educators, in eitherindividual or group formats.

Volume: 61

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