Self-administration of medicine and older people

McGraw, Caroline and Drennan, Vari (2001) Self-administration of medicine and older people. Nursing Standard, 15(18), pp. 33-36. ISSN (print) 0029-6570


BACKGROUND: Non-adherence to medication regimens is a significant problem in older patients, which can lead to therapeutic failure and the wastage of resources. Common causes include poor patient memory, physical difficulties, unpleasant side effects and a lack of social support. CONCLUSION: Strategies such as careful labelling, self-administration of medicine programmes, simplifying drug regimens and the use of medication compliance devices can help to promote patient adherence. Some of these interventions will work for certain patients, however the authors recommend that a multidisciplinary assessment and a regular review of each patient's ability to adhere to medication should be undertaken.

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