This study descriptive qualitative and quantitative aimed to verify the level of knowledge and difficulties of relatives of elderly people with Bipolar Affective Disorder regarding the medication treatment prescribed to patients. The participants were 17 relatives of elderly patients with Bipolar Affective Disorder who receive care in a Mental Health Service. Semi-structured interview and a scale were used for data collection. Low level of knowledge from relatives was verified, especially concerning the doses and frequency of the prescribed medications. Among the difficulties related to patients' medication treatment reported by the relatives, the following were pointed out: ambiguity regarding the evaluation of the medication benefits, non-adherence of patients to the medication, overload related to care concerning medications, inappropriate treatment, preoccupation with the access to medication and use of alcoholic drinks by patients. It is imperative to offer educational actions to the families, as collaborators and target of the interventions, as well as inserting them in the care provided to patients.
Bipolar disorder; Medication adherence; Aged; Family; Nursing