Aims: To determine whether a medicine review and education programme influences the compliance and knowledge of older people in general practice.
Methods: Older people taking at least three medicines were randomly allocated to a control or intervention group. Both groups received three visits from a clinical pharmacist: Visit 1: Assessment and patients' medicines rationalized in intervention group. Visit 2: Intervention group given medicines education. Visit 3: Knowledge and compliance in both groups assessed by structured questionnaire
Results: Compliance in the intervention group was 91.3%, compared with 79.5% in the control group (P < 0.0001). The number of intervention group patients correctly understanding the purpose of their medicines increased from 58% to 88% on the second visit, compared with 67% to 70% in the control group (P < 0.0005).
Conclusions: A general practice based medication review and education programme improved medicine compliance and knowledge of older people in the short term.