Predictors of older adults' capacity for medication management in a self-medication program: a retrospective chart review

J Aging Health. 2003 May;15(2):332-52. doi: 10.1177/0898264303251893.


The aim of this project was to identify variables that predicted older adults' ability to manage medications.

Methods: The study used a retrospective cohort design and was set in a self-medication program within a rehabilitation hospital. A random sample of charts from 301 participants in the self-medication program was reviewed.

Results: Logistic regression models accounted for 26.7% and 55.8% of the variance in the probability of making one or more self-medication errors during the initial and final weeks of the program, respectively. The importance of cognition in predicting medication management capacity was seen in bivariate and multivariate analyses and through a number of interactions with other predictors. Statistically significant predictors in one or both analyses included medication regimen complexity, Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) score, duration of institutionalization, depression, and interactions between (a) medication regimen complexity and MMSE score and (b) ability to cook and MMSE score.

Discussion: The direct effects of cognition and medication regimen complexity were important predictors of medication management capacity.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Alberta
  • Cognition*
  • Health Services for the Aged*
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Medication Errors / prevention & control
  • Medication Errors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Administration*