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Polypharmacy in older patients: identifying the need for support by a community pharmacist

Abstract : BACKGROUND: The community pharmacist is a key player in medication reviews of older outpatients. However, it is not always clear which individuals require a medication review. The objective of the present study was to identify high-priority older patients for intervention by a community pharmacist. METHODS: As part of their final-year placement in a community pharmacy, pharmacy students conducted 10 interviews each with older adults (aged 65 or over) taking at least five medications daily. The student interviewer also offered to examine the patient's home medicine cabinet. An interview guide was developed by an expert group to assess the difficulties in managing and taking medications encountered by older patients. RESULTS: The 141 students interviewed a total of 1370 patients (mean age: 81.5; mean number of medications taken daily: 9.3). Of the 1370 interviews, 743 (54.2%) were performed in the patient's home, and thus also included an examination of the home medicine cabinet. Adverse events were reported by 566 (42.0%) patients. A total of 378 patients (27.6%) reported difficulties in preparing, administering and/or swallowing medications. The inspections of medicine cabinets identified a variety of shortcomings: poorly located cabinets (in 15.0% of inspections), medication storage problems (21.7%), expired medications (40.7%), potentially inappropriate medications (15.0%), several different generic versions of the same drug (19.9%), and redundant medications (20.4%). CONCLUSIONS: In a community pharmacy setting, high-priority older patients for intervention by a community pharmacist can be identified by asking simple questions about difficulties in managing, administering, taking or storing medications.
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https://hal.univ-lille.fr/hal-02521288
Contributeur : Lilloa Université de Lille <>
Soumis le : vendredi 27 mars 2020 - 12:21:12
Dernière modification le : mardi 3 novembre 2020 - 15:54:06
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Jean-Baptiste Beuscart, Segolene Petit, Sophie Gautier, Patrick Wierre, Thibaut Balcaen, et al.. Polypharmacy in older patients: identifying the need for support by a community pharmacist. BMC Geriatrics, BioMed Central, 2019, 19, pp.277. ⟨10.1186/s12877-019-1276-y⟩. ⟨hal-02521288⟩

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