Background and objective: Patients can have medication-related risk factors associated with poor health outcomes that become evident through visiting them in their homes. These medication-related risk factors may not be apparent in pharmacy and general practitioner (GP) records. The aim was to determine the prevalence and inter-relationships of medication-related risk factors for poor patient health outcomes identifiable through 'in-home' observations.
Methods: The design was a cross-sectional study of 204 general practice patients living in their own homes and at risk of medication-related poor health outcomes. Medication-related risk factors were identified in the patients' homes by community pharmacists and GPs.
Results and discussion: The prevalence of risk factors varied from 8.3% (multiple medication storage locations) to 55.9% (confused by generic and trade names). There were many relationships observed between the medication-related risk factors, with expired medication having the most relationships with other risk factors followed by therapeutic duplication and poor adherence (9, 6 and 6 relationships respectively).
Conclusion: Visiting patients' homes may identify medication-related risk factors not otherwise apparent through patient visits to the health practitioner when medications may be brought for review (i.e. 'brown bag' reviews).