Nurse care coordination and technology effects on health status of frail older adults via enhanced self-management of medication: randomized clinical trial to test efficacy

Nurs Res. Jul-Aug 2013;62(4):269-78. doi: 10.1097/NNR.0b013e318298aa55.


Background: Self-management of complex medication regimens for chronic illness is challenging for many older adults.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate health status outcomes of frail older adults receiving a home-based support program that emphasized self-management of medications using both care coordination and technology.

Design: This study used a randomized controlled trial with three arms and longitudinal outcome measurement.

Setting: Older adults having difficulty in self-managing medications (n = 414) were recruited at discharge from three Medicare-certified home healthcare agencies in a Midwestern urban area.

Methods: All participants received baseline pharmacy screens. The control group received no further intervention. A team of advanced practice nurses and registered nurses coordinated care for 12 months to two intervention groups who also received either an MD.2 medication-dispensing machine or a medplanner. Health status outcomes (the Geriatric Depression Scale, Mini Mental Status Examination, Physical Performance Test, and SF-36 Physical Component Summary and Mental Component Summary) were measured at baseline and at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months.

Results: After covariate and baseline health status adjustment, time × group interactions for the MD.2 and medplanner groups on health status outcomes were not significant. Time × group interactions were significant for the medplanner and control group comparisons.

Discussion: Participants with care coordination had significantly better health status outcomes over time than those in the control group, but addition of the MD.2 machine to nurse care coordination did not result in better health status outcomes.

Trial registration: NCT01321853.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chronic Disease / drug therapy
  • Chronic Disease / nursing
  • Frail Elderly*
  • Health Services for the Aged / organization & administration*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Middle Aged
  • Midwestern United States
  • Nursing Care / organization & administration*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Self Care*
  • Self Medication / nursing*

Associated data