Psychotropic medication monitoring checklists: use and utility for children in residential care. Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: To develop side effect (SE) monitoring checklists for four categories of psychotropic medications (antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, stimulants, and selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors), to improve residential direct care staff's confidence and competence in SE monitoring, and to facilitate communication of potential observed SE to medical personnel (e.g., nurse, physician). METHODS: Seventy-two staff members (three nurses, 69 child/youth workers) from five residential units at a tertiary mental health centre utilized the Psychotropic Medication Monitoring Checklists (PMMC) for eight weeks and completed pre- and post-test measures of staff characteristics and PMMC satisfaction. RESULTS: The use of PMMC led to significant changes in direct care staff's awareness and beliefs associated with medication monitoring. An increase in staff-physician communication with direct care staff was marginally significant. Further investigation into the educational qualities of the PMMC revealed that staff with very little prior formal medication education showed greater change compared to those staff reporting greater formal medication instruction. Staff ratings of the PMMC exceeded mild levels of satisfaction, indicating that the checklists were a well-received and useful tool for monitoring SE in a residential care setting. CONCLUSIONS: The PMMC are useful as an educational SE monitoring tool for direct care staff in child residential care settings, with potential utility for multiple types of healthcare settings.


  • Ninan, Ajit
  • Stewart, Shannon L
  • Theall, Laura
  • King, Gillian
  • Evans, Ross
  • Baiden, Philip
  • Brown, Al

publication date

  • February 2014