The experiences of adolescents consenting to psychiatric mental health treatment Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Roberson, Anthony James
    • Affiliation: School of Nursing
  • Minor consent laws have been enacted without demonstrated and clear understanding of what influences the adolescent to decide to consent to psychiatric mental health treatment in real life situations. Further, minor consent laws are being expanded without understanding their therapeutic and anti-therapeutic effects on treatment outcomes. The purposes of this study were to (a) explore the decision-making process of adolescents who consent to psychiatric mental health treatment in real life situations, and (b) explore the experiences of parents whose adolescent consents to psychiatric mental health treatment. A four step decision-making model, Therapeutic Jurisprudence, and the Vygotskian concept, scaffolding, served as the synthesizing framework for this study. Using a qualitative descriptive method and the four step decision-making model as a guide, adolescents were interviewed about their processes in deciding about outpatient psychiatric mental health treatment. Sixteen adolescents and thirteen parents/legal guardians participated in this study. Adolescent participants ranged in age from 12 to 17 years. At the time of the study, each adolescent was receiving outpatient psychiatric mental health treatment, which included medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of these two interventions. Adolescents and parents were interviewed about their decisions made about initial and continued treatment. Adolescents and parents were also asked their understanding of the current minor consent laws. Interviews were audio-recorded, and transcripts were analyzed through concept analysis using Atlas/ti® software. Findings were presented in the context of the decisionmaking steps and research questions, and discussed in terms of the Therapeutic Jurisprudence model and the Vygotskian concept, scaffolding. Most adolescents did not recognize consequences related to psychiatric mental health treatment and did not assimilate and integrate information provided to them about treatment choices. Adolescents and parents disagreed with current minor consent laws that allow minors to consent to certain healthcare treatments without the required consent of the parent. Further, adolescents and parents reported that a collaborative approach in making decisions about the adolescent’s psychiatric mental health treatment was most facilitative of achieving the goals of treatment.
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  • In Copyright
  • Kjervik, Diane K.
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

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