Medication management at home: medication risk factor prevalence and inter-relationships

J Clin Pharm Ther. 2006 Oct;31(5):485-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2710.2006.00768.x.


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).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Family Practice
  • Female
  • House Calls*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance
  • Pharmaceutical Services
  • Prevalence
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Administration / adverse effects*