'They must help if the doctor gives them to you’: a qualitative study of the older person’s lived experience of medication-related problems

Parekh, Nikesh, Gahagan, Beatrice, Ward, Lizzie and Ali, Khalid (2019) 'They must help if the doctor gives them to you’: a qualitative study of the older person’s lived experience of medication-related problems. Age and Ageing, 48 (1). pp. 147-151. ISSN 0002-0729

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Objective: medication-related problems (MRP) are common for older adults and can lead to harm. The older person’s perspective on MRP has been seldom reported in published literature. This study explored the lived experience of MRP in older adults with varying functional levels, focussing on the hospital discharge period.

Design, setting, participants: this qualitative study was conducted in Brighton and Hove, UK. A purposive sample of 20 older people with experience of MRP, involving carers, took part in focus groups and semi-structured interviews. Data were thematically analysed using a ‘framework’ approach.

Results: four major themes associated with MRP were identified; (1) experience of the healthcare system, (2) practicalities of using medicines, (3) management of medication problems and (4) participant beliefs. Participants encountered problems in communication with healthcare professionals such as passive listening and paternalistic consultations. A conflict was acknowledged between participants’ implicit trust in the healthcare system and their negative experience of MRP. Participants felt vulnerable around hospital discharge, describing reduced capacity to comprehend information, pressured discharge circumstances and lack of integrated care in the community. Drug formulations, packaging and information leaflets were felt to be poorly tailored to the needs of older people.

Conclusions: the lived experience of older people with MRP in this study was multifaceted and complex. Participants felt communication was poor around hospital discharge, and insufficient support with medicines was offered in the community when problems arose. Harm due to MRP might be reduced if the contributory factors described by patients inform clinical and policy-level intervention.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Medication problems, hospital discharge, lived experience, older people, qualitative research
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Depositing User: Marie Shelton
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2019 11:55
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2019 12:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/85943

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