256434 Mult-displinary Investigation Intervention on Reducing Polypharmacy and Enhancing Adherence to Drug Regimens among Elderly African Americans

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 9:30 AM - 9:45 AM

Gail Orum-Alexander, PharmD, Dean , College of Science and Health, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA
Excessive and unnecessary use of prescription and over-the-counter medications (polypharmacy) is a major problem ad a challenge that contributes to increased costs, adverse drug events, poor medication adherence, inappropriate prescribing, hospitalization, and mortality among older adults. This educational outreach intervention study examined the effects of an educational intervention on reducing excessive and unnecessary use of prescription and over-the-counter medication and enhancing adherence to drug regimens among low-income older African Americans with multiple chronic health conditions. A one group pretest-posttest design was utilized to measure the outcomes before and after the intervention. Each study participant was provided with information regarding the prevalence, consequences, and common facilitators of polypharmacy (taking expired medications, borrowing medications, prescriptions from multiple healthcare providers). The intervention emphasizes knowledge and strategies aimed at improving adherence to recommended medications. Following the assessment of medication use, providers of participants were notified within two weeks about medication duplications, out-dated or inappropriate indication, drug-drug interactions and adherence of their patients to the drug regimen. Preliminary findings indicated several participants with serious problems related to their use of medications that required notification letters to be sent to their primary physician along with a follow-up intervention. Lessons learned and policy implications will be discussed.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify the unique barriors to polypharmacy. Assess the polypharmacy knowledge of participants. Assess the effectiveness of a multidisiciplinary education intervention.

Keywords: Drug Safety, Elderly

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an experienced researcher of pharmacology with published research in the area of community programs that focus on the prevention and management of diabetes in minorities. In addition, I have published and reviewed articles on the pharmacologic management of obesity and obesity in children and adolescents. I am currently the Dean of the College of Science and Health at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.