Collaborative medication management for older adults after hospital discharge: a qualitative descriptive study

BMC Nurs. 2022 Oct 24;21(1):284. doi: 10.1186/s12912-022-01061-3.


Background: Safe medication management for older adults after hospital discharge requires a well-coordinated, interprofessional, patient-centered approach. This study aimed to describe the perceived needs for collaborative medication management for older adults taking several different medications at home after hospital discharge.

Methods: A qualitative descriptive study was conducted using semi-structured interviews with older adults (n = 28), informal (n = 17), and professional caregivers (n = 13).

Results: Findings revealed four main needs: older adults and informal caregivers' perceived needs for greater involvement in discharge planning; older adults' perceived needs to be informed, listened to, and to be actively involved in decision-making; informal caregivers' perceived needs for help in supporting and coordinating medication management; and older adults' and informal and professional caregivers' perceived needs for better communication and coordination between professional caregivers.

Conclusion: This study revealed two underutilized pathways towards improving collaborative medication management: medication follow-up involving a community healthcare professional taking an overarching responsibility and empowering older adults and their informal caregivers in medication management after hospital discharge.

Keywords: Collaborative medication management; Discharge planning; Home-dwelling; Informal caregivers; Older adults; Polypharmacy; Qualitative descriptive research; Switzerland.