"Clozapine makes me quite drowsy, so when I wake up in the morning those first cups of coffee are really handy": an exploratory qualitative study of excessive caffeine consumption among individuals with schizophrenia

Lisa Thompson, Amy Pennay, Adam Zimmermann, Merrilee Anne Cox, Dan Lubman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


A qualitative study was undertaken with individuals who had previously scored in either a moderate or high risk category for caffeine use on the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Tool (ASSIST). In-depth interviews were undertaken with 20 individuals, and transcripts were analysed thematically to identify prominent perspectives.Results: Consistent with previous literature, participants caffeine consumption was driven largely by its stimulating properties; however, participants also identified cravings as an important motivating factor. Participants behaviours related to caffeine consumption seemed to be tempered by their previous experiences of consumption; if participants had experienced positive effects such as alertness or relaxation in the past, their use was maintained at a similar level or increased. Conversely, participants who anticipated negative consequences often altered their patterns of caffeine consumption; for example, by substituting caffeinated drinks that minimised or ceased their experience of negative side effects for those that directly caused such impacts. Overall, participants largely identified caffeine consumption as a highly meaningful activity, which provided structure to their day and facilitated opportunities for social interaction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 10
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Issue number1 (Art. No.: 116)
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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