Online Program

Medication (Mis)management: Community perspectives

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 3:06 p.m. - 3:18 p.m.

Karen O'Quin, MPH, PhD Candidate, Department of Community Health and Health Behavior, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
Teresa Semalulu, BS, Community Health and Health Behavior, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
Heather Orom, PhD, Community Health and Health Behavior, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
Medication mismanagement is a growing public health concern, especially among older adults. Annually, it is a major contributor to emergency hospitalization and nursing home placement. Despite their central role in this issue, relatively little is known about what elders and caregivers perceive as acceptable and feasible solutions to medication mismanagement. In order to describe their perspective, 9 focus groups (N=65, mean age=71) were conducted with caregivers or elders from 5 northeastern urban and rural communities. Participants were recruited by key informants with snowball sampling. Several themes emerged from the participant recommended solutions. The first was improved communication/coordination between healthcare providers; participants strongly expressed desire for providers to utilize electronic medical records to facilitate between-practice coordination of care. The second was the need for regular review, by doctors or pharmacists, of all medications taken to evaluate effectiveness, medication interactions, and the reduction/elimination of medications. The third was implementing community-driven support systems, such as phone trees or regular visits from neighbors, for elders who do not have social resources. Finally, both elders and caregivers suggested implementing a medical advocate: someone who is knowledgeable about health and medicine, but has no financial stake in the healthcare system, to advise them about medication and facilitate communication with providers. Overwhelmingly, elders and caregivers recognized community-wide issues with medication management and were eager to offer solutions they thought would work in their communities. These solutions resonated across focus groups and can lend credibility to strategies currently being developed/utilized and offer innovative recommendations for future interventions.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Chronic disease management and prevention
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Identify older adult and caregiver perceptions of acceptable and feasible strategies to improve medication management

Keyword(s): Aging, Disease Management

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator, co investigator, or key personnel on multiple studies focusing on the community perspectives on health care and health care settings. I have also co-authored multiple papers regarding aging and the health and wellness of older adults. Among my scientific interests is the intersection of community and health and how patients and community members can partner with providers to improve patient experience and health outcomes.
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.