We evaluated the level of adolescent psychiatric patients' knowledge and understanding of their treatment in light of their competency to participate in decision-making processes related to their receiving treatment, and compared the adolescents' levels of understanding and knowledge to those of adult psychiatric patients. The study group consisted of 30 adolescents and 30 adults who were randomly selected from the inpatients of our mental health center. Consenting participants were interviewed and their objective knowledge of psychiatric treatments was evaluated by a specially designed questionnaire. Adolescents knew significantly more about adverse effects of treatment and showed a higher level of comprehensive general knowledge. These data indicate that adolescents are no less knowledgeable than adults and should be regarded as competent partners in the process of therapeutic decision making.
- Psychiatric treatment