How do psychiatric patients perceive the side effects of their medications?

Oleg Lapshin, Craig J. Skinner, Joseph Finkelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: Available instruments for the assesment of medication side effects give limited information about the overall impact of medication side effects on patient well-being. We have developed a scale to assess adverse drug events that can potentially be used in any field of medicine. Methods: A convenience sample of 61 consecutive psychiatric patients was enrolled from a rehabilitation clinic. The Side Effect Survey (SidES), designed for this study, was used to assess adverse drug effects. The Udvalg for Kliniske Undersogelser (UKU) Side Effect Rating Scale was used independently as another tool as assess medication side effects. Results: Overall reliability of the scale was good with Cronbach-alpha 0.81-0.96. Criterion-related validity of SidES was analyzed through a comparison of corresponding items in SidES with the UKU Side Effect Rating Scale. For 41 of 48 symptoms, there was a correlation between similar items in UKU and SidES at p<0.01. The total scores of SidES and the number of medications taken by the patients correlated at r=0.49, and r=0.43, p<0.0001. Conclusion: In this study SidES demonstrated good psychometric properties. Assesment of the overall impact of medication side effect could be useful for the development of safer medications and treatment regimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-79
Number of pages6
JournalGerman Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2006


  • Medication side effects
  • Psychotropic medications
  • Rating scales

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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