Taking several medications at the same time can lead to adverse effects and dangerous situations for home-dwelling older adults with chronic conditions. The study investigates how medication management can be made safer for this patient group.
Older adults suffering from chronic conditions often take several medications at the same time. Accurate medication management can be a difficult challenge, especially for people living at home. However, little research has been carried out into the experience of older adults and their informal caregivers (such as family members, friends, neighbours) with medication management.
The aim of the study is, first, to identify factors that can cause undesirable side effects and make taking multiple medication potentially dangerous for home-dwelling older adults. Second, the study will investigate the experiences of this group of patients with medication management. Third, the role of both professional and informal caregivers will be examined.
In a first phase, around 50,000 electronic patient records from the Valais Hospital pertaining to home-dwelling older adults with chronic conditions will be evaluated. The aim of the analysis is to provide evidence of risk factors for adverse effects and dangerous situations associated with older adults taking medication at home. In a second phase, 30 patients and their professional and informal caregivers will be interviewed about their experience of taking medication at home. The selection of older adults for interview will be based on the risk profiles from the first phase of the study.
Based on the research results, recommendations will be made on how to improve the safety of medication management for home-dwelling older adults with chronic conditions. These recommendations should help to prevent the adverse effects and dangerous situations that can lead to hospitalisation, institutionalisation or even premature death.