Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Druedahl, L.C., Kälvemark Sporrong, S.
More than meets the eye: A Foucauldian perspective on treating ADHD with medicine (2020) Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, 16 (9), pp. 1201-1207.

DOI: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2019.12.008

Background: Decision-making for using medicine treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is complex. Objective: The aim of this study is to investigate decision-making about ADHD medicine and its use among young adults with ADHD by exploring and analysing their beliefs, experiences and behaviours from a Foucauldian perspective.

Methods: Participants were recruited using convenience sampling. In-depth individual interviews were conducted with 7 participants, and 4 participated in a focus group; 1 took part in both. The interviewees were aged 22–29. Data were collected in Denmark from March to August 2016.

Results: Deductive analysis identified the sociological, bio-psychosocial and biomedical discourses as falsified, present and dominant, respectively. In a Foucauldian perspective, ADHD medicine use seems to be a disciplinary act intended to make the individual change his/her ‘undesirable’ ADHD behaviour. Interviewees’ descriptions show power as operating internally in the form of self-monitoring in an attempt at normalisation, as well as externally through society’s subjectification of them as young adults with ADHD. Although resistance towards using medicine as ADHD treatment existed, it was sparse.

Conclusions: The findings show that what may appear to be the choice of an individual on the surface can also be seen as a complex interaction of networks of power. Further, that medicine adherence also can appear to be disciplinary. Pharmacists can use these findings to improve how advice-giving about ADHD medicine may be perceived by young adults with ADHD. © 2019 Elsevier Inc.

Author Keywords
ADHD; Adherence; Decision-making; Foucault; Medicine; Qualitative

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