Background The older-aged living in a low socioeconomic, rental, retirement village have a low adherence to medicines and a poor understanding of their illnesses. MedsChecks are commonly used in Australian pharmacies in an attempt to improve the management of medicines. There is no published evidence that MedsChecks, or similar brief/single, interventions improve the management of medicines in the older-aged. Objective The objective of our study was to determine the effect of an AdherenceCheck, which is similar to a MedsCheck, but is performed in the home of the older-aged, had on the ongoing management of medicines by the older-aged living independently. Both a MedsCheck and an AdherenceCheck involves forming an individual Action Plan. Setting Rental retirement village. Method After interviewing the older-aged in the village about their management of medicines, they were given an AdherenceCheck and an Action Plan. Six months later their management of medicines and the Action Plan were (re-)evaluated. Main outcome measure Present and ongoing adherence to medicines. Results Only 15 of the original 23 participants completed the study. The AdherenceCheck with Action Plan did not significantly change the adherence to medicines of these older-aged living in the rental retirement village. Pre- to post-AdherenceCheck, there was a reduction in the percentage of participants with a good knowledge of their illnesses, and thus a corresponding significant increase in the percentage with no knowledge of their illnesses, and this may have been age related. Only 11 of the 15 participants remembered receiving an Action Plan, as part of the AdherenceCheck, and 7 of these considered that the Action Plan helped them manage their medicines. Conclusion An AdherenceCheck may not improve the management of medicines by the older-aged living in a rental retirement village. As there are no peer-reviewed publications as to whether the commonly used MedsChecks, which have some similarities to the AdherenceCheck, improve the management of medicines, it is suggested that these MedsChecks should also be formally evaluated.
Adherence AdherenceCheck Australia Knowledge of illnesses Medicines management MedsCheck Older-aged Retirement village
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Thanks to Dr Vincent Chan for undertaking the AdherenceChecks of all of participants, and to Saira Sanjida for help with the interviewing and preliminary data analysis.
School of Biomedical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology
Conflicts of interest
The author has no conflict of interest.
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