Date of Award

Spring 5-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Anita Greer

Committee Chair School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Member 2

Dr. Lisa Morgan

Committee Member 2 School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice


Schizophrenia is a debilitating disorder that affects the mind causing individuals to have delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thought processing, and or negative symptoms ranging from isolation to anhedonia. Schizophrenia has capabilities of becoming a disabling disorder if symptoms are not properly managed with appropriate psychotropic medications. Psychiatrists, Primary Care Providers (PCPs), and Psychiatric- Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNPs) typically treat the symptoms of schizophrenia with antipsychotics. Antipsychotics fall into two drug classes: first- generation or typical antipsychotics and second- generation or atypical antipsychotics that can be given orally or intramuscularly. Typical antipsychotics generally have more side effects than atypical antipsychotics. However, both classes of antipsychotics are used to treat the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

The leader of this Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) project performed research in Hinds County of the state of Mississippi, particularly the city of Jackson and possibly surrounding areas. Participants were members of a community- based behavioral health treatment program aging from 18-64 with a clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia. A maximum of 30 clients, possibly less, were obtained for research purposes. The leader of this doctoral project invited clients to participate in a research opportunity while explaining to them the purpose of the research and the importance of medication adherence in the schizophrenia community. Clients then signed an informed consent and completed a Medication Preference Questionnaire (MPQ) while the leader reviewed charts to retrieve current medication lists, diagnoses, and hospitalization history. The leader of this doctoral project provided education to the PMHNP that prescribes medications to this client population and the RN on the use of the MPQ. Results from the MPQ and retrospective chart review determined if patient’s preference of LAIs or OAPs helped to decrease the risk of relapse in clients with schizophrenia. These findings revealed to the researcher which route for antipsychotic medication is preferred and has the potential to better manage the schizophrenia symptoms.