Antipsychotic Medication and Body Heat

582 words | 2 page(s)

In the following study, female and male subjects would be utilized, their ages ranging from 24 to 53 years of age. I would also make sure that the sampling population is culturally diverse, the population including African Americans, Arabic, Asian, and Caucasian people. In terms of health, the subjects would be healthy, without any medical-related illnesses, and unhealthy, suffering from diabetes, pulmonary disease, alcoholism, etc. with a DSM-III-R criteria of chronic schizophrenia.

Study participants would be receiving antipsychotic medication treatment such as Clozaril, Risperdal, Abilify, Haloperidol, etc. The aim of the present study is to examine the comparison of heat tolerance in each group, based on individuals being on psychiatric medications during the summer when heat and sun risks are high. Factors such as age, gender and individuals’ body ability to handle heat stress will also be assessed. Additionally, this is in consideration for internal validity and generalizability of this psychological research to other populations.

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In order to conduct this research, purposive sampling, which is a form of nonprobability seems to be a good choice. Purposive sample is known as subjective sampling, which is done when the researcher has a specific group in mind. As Cozby and Bates (2012, p.147)) stated, “The purpose is to obtain a sample of people who meet some predetermined criterion.” The reason for choosing this method is to examine chronic schizophrenia individuals on anti-psychotic medications during hot and humid weather. They may be at a greater risk of developing excessive body temperature or hyperthermia versus subjects without chronic medical issues. Therefore, instead of sampling others without stated mental illness or medical issues, the main focus would be subjects with recurrent heat-related illness associated with antipsychotic medications such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Potential subjects would be screened to ensure that they meet the necessary criteria to participate in the study.

This study would be based on a retrospective study. This method may be utilized to assess individuals’ medical history section of the psychiatric evaluation, interviewing participants about their prior medical history and type of treatment they received for this stated condition. Additionally, observing the amount of trips to emergency department or hospital as the individuals seek for urgent medical attention due to heat-related illness would be done. It is also important to see how subjects respond to conditions of environmental heat stress.

Some potential confounding and bias issues concerns subjects who are on one or more medications for different health conditions. It is hard to tell what type of medication can make one more prone to getting heat illnesses. In terms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, it is important to know if subjects have experienced heat stroke or heat exhaustion in the past. Prior experiences with heat exhaustion and heat stroke can result in people being more likely to succumb to heat related illnesses in the future. Past incidences of heat illnesses may be the real reason a subject gets sick from the heat, versus being on medication or having a mental illness. When the study is conducted, it is also important to make sure that subjects are properly hydrated. Being dehydrated makes subjects more likely to get sick from the sun and heat. Also, being aware of the time of day is also necessary, as the sun’s rays are usually the highest between noon and 3pm. If mentally ill subjects taking medication are going outside during those times versus times when the sun and temperature are weaker and lower, respectively, this can bias the study results.

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