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Measuring the impact of long-term medicines use from the patient perspective

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Polypharmacy is increasing, seemingly inexorably, and inevitably the associated difficulties for individual patients of coping with multiple medicines rise with it. Using medicines is one aspect of the burden associated with living with a chronic condition. It is becoming increasingly important to measure this burden particularly that relating to multiple long-term medicines. Pharmacists and other health professionals provide a myriad of services designed to optimise medicines use, ostensibly aiming to help and support patients, but in reality many such services focus on the medicines, and seek to improve adherence rather than reducing the burden for the patient. We believe that the patient perspective and experience of medicines use is fundamental to medicines optimisation and have developed an instrument which begins to quantify these experiences. The instrument, the Living with Medicines Questionnaire, was generated using qualitative findings with patients, to reflect their perspective. Further development is ongoing, involving researchers in multiple countries.

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Preliminary work on the instrument was funded by Liverpool John Moores University.

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The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

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Correspondence to Janet Krska.

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Krska, J., Morecroft, C.W., Rowe, P.H. et al. Measuring the impact of long-term medicines use from the patient perspective. Int J Clin Pharm 36, 675–678 (2014).

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