Use of medication lists: A population-based approach to increase the prevalence of medication lists within a region in Germany. A pre-post study

Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2019 Aug;57(8):375-383. doi: 10.5414/CP203447.


Objectives: Patient-centered medication lists are a useful documentation method to support safe drug treatment, but they are still inconsistently used and are of varying quality. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of an information campaign on the prevalence and use of medication lists.

Material and methods: We launched a population-based, low-threshold information campaign within a large region in Germany in order to sensitize the population to the use of medication lists. A survey was sent out at baseline and after 18 months to 5,340 citizens aged ≥ 65 years, covering ~ 4% of the region's population.

Results: The response rate was 49.4% (N = 2,640) at baseline and 45.4% (N = 2,427) at follow-up. Sociodemographic details of respondents were similar at both time-points as was the possession rate of a medication list among participants with regular medicine intake (51.6%, N = 1,181/2,288 vs. 51.4%, N = 1,082/2,107). Combining baseline and follow-up data, respondents indicated that their general practitioner was involved in issuing the list most often (N = 1,668/2,263, 73.7%), however, in 195 cases (8.6%), respondents indicated being solely responsible for the list. The majority (90.8%, N = 2,055/2,263) indicated having their list in use for longer than 1 year, but for only half of those, the list was updated within the last year. After the intervention, 6% of the respondents indicated being familiar with the campaign those being more likely to possess a list (69.7% N = 83/119 vs. 50.2% N = 999/1,988).

Conclusion: The campaign did not change overall possession rate, but respondents who were familiar with the campaign were more likely to possess such a list.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Data Collection / methods*
  • General Practitioners*
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Prescription Drugs*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Prescription Drugs