Guiding Principles for Person-Centered Psychopharmacology and the Promotion of Self-Management

Several forces have converged over the last decade to call for a reconsideration of how to view, discuss, prescribe, and assess medications for effectiveness in the care of persons with serious mental illness and/or substance use disorders. This document briefly reviews these issues and describes the point of convergence as being patient-centered medicine. We offer these six evidence-based principles, illustrated using clinical vignettes, for promoting self-management in individuals with mental illness and/or addictions:

  • Elicit the person’s and family’s perspectives on the concerns bringing them to care.
  • Assess the person’s and family’s perceived needs and priorities, including any cultural preferences (e.g., ethnic, sexual, spiritual).
  • Identify the person’s short- and long-term goals.
  • Identify medication targets that indicate that the person is overcoming barriers to life goals or increasing their quality of life (beyond symptom reduction).
  • Prescribe medication as one component of an overall self-management plan that builds on personal and family strengths.
  • Identify and address barriers to self-management, including the need for additional supports (e.g., transportation, child care, reminders, environmental modifications).



Copyright © 2024 Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) Network