Impact of a self-administration of medications programme on elderly inpatients’ competence to manage medications: a pilot study.

Link to article at PubMed

Impact of a self-administration of medications programme on elderly inpatients' competence to manage medications: a pilot study.

J Clin Pharm Ther. 2011 Feb;36(1):80-6

Authors: Lam P, Elliott RA, George J

WHAT IS KNOWN AND OBJECTIVES: Changes to medication regimens and failure to involve patients in management of their medications whilst in hospital may result in medication errors or non-adherence at home after discharge. Self-administration of medications programmes (SAMP) have been used to address this issue. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of a SAMP on elderly hospital inpatients' competence to manage medications and their medication adherence behaviours. METHODS: The SAMP comprised three stages: education, progressing to supervised self-administration and finally to independent self-administration. Decisions to progress patients to the next level, and whether they passed or failed the SAMP, were made by the ward pharmacist and nursing staff. The Drug Regimen Unassisted Grading Scale (DRUGS) was used to assess patients' competence to manage medications at various time points. Tablet count and the Tool for Adherence Behaviour Screening (TABS) were used as adherence measures. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Participants (n = 24) with a mean age of 77.4 years, were mainly female and generally had a high level of functioning. They were prescribed a mean of 9.0 medications at the time of commencing the SAMP. Twenty-two of the 24 participants successfully completed the SAMP. DRUGS scores at discharge improved significantly (P<0.001) compared with that before commencement of medication self-administration. Participants reported a significant decrease (P = 0.02) in non-adherent behaviour and a trend towards improved adherent behaviour (P=0.08) after participation in the SAMP. WHAT IS NEW AND CONCLUSION: An inpatient SAMP improved elderly patients' ability to competently manage and adhere to their prescribed medications regimen. This finding needs to be confirmed in a larger controlled trial.

PMID: 21108652 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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