Effectiveness of different medication management approaches on elders' medication adherence

Outcomes Manag Nurs Pract. Oct-Dec 2000;4(4):172-6.


This pilot study investigated the effects of three different medication management approaches on medication adherence and resource utilization. Sixty-one participants living in an independent elder community in South Florida were randomly assigned to one of the three medication management approaches: (1) a pillbox method, (2) a voice-activated method, and (3) self-administration of medications as they had in the past. One outcome was measured by recording the number of doses of medications ingested over a 1-, 3-, and 6-month period. Adherence to medications also was measured by the impact on the medical diagnosis. For example, the hypertensive group was defined adherent by a sustained normotensive pressure. Participants' medical records were examined as to the number of physician office visits, hospitalizations, and home health visits. There were significant differences in the mean number of doses missed, with the fewest in the voice-activated group to the highest in the self-administration (control) group. Additionally, the group that self-administered their own medications had more frequent physician office visits and increased hospitalizations. Because the elder population is prone to medication mismanagement for a variety of reasons, nurses are in a unique position to identify populations at risk and suggest interventions that may improve medication adherence.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Drug Therapy*
  • Female
  • Health Resources / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Self Administration