Special Considerations of Adherence in Older Adults

  • S. Nicole Hastings
  • Janine C. Kosmoski
  • Jason M. Moss


Optimizing medication adherence is a significant challenge for clinicians caring for older adults, particularly those with multiple chronic health conditions. Nearly half of all adults aged 65 or older take five or more medications regularly; however, adherence to chronic pharmacological therapies is often poor [1]. Overall, 40% of older Medicare beneficiaries reported one or more forms of medication non-adherence in the previous year [1]. Older patients are often more susceptible to the outcomes of poor adherence including worsening symptoms of disease and disease severity, increased hospital admissions, costs, and mortality [2, 3]. Older adults face many of the barriers to adherence discussed in previous chapters; however, age-related physical or cognitive impairments, multiple chronic health conditions, and/or complex treatment regimens frequently create distinct challenges related to adherence in this population. The aims of this chapter are to discuss special considerations related to medication adherence in older adults and to offer practical advice for improving medication adherence in this population.


Medication Adherence Manual Dexterity Medicare Part Improve Medication Adherence Limited Health Literacy 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Nicole Hastings
    • 1
  • Janine C. Kosmoski
    • 2
  • Jason M. Moss
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.GeriatricsDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Christiana Health Care SystemNewarkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Clinical ResearchCampbell University College of Pharmacy and Health SciencesDurhamUSA
  4. 4.Durham Veterans Affairs Geriatrics Research Education and Clinical CenterDurhamUSA

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