To promote the wise use of prescription drugs among older adults, AARP launched a campaign in 2006, one aspect of which included volunteer pharmacists conducting medication reviews in California, Colorado, Oregon and Virginia.
Baseline and follow-up surveys found that the percentage of participants who talk to their doctors about various medication issues rose in the interval between the two surveys which revealed increases in these specific behaviors:
- Using personal medication records to help them manage and keep track of their drugs, up from 68 percent to 77 percent
- Asking doctors why a new medications is being prescribed, up from 74 percent to 81 percent
- Always taking medications exactly as prescribed, up from 80 percent to 85 percent
- Telling doctors about all the medications being taken, up from 64 percent to 75 percent
While survey results suggest that that participants are generally using prescription drugs wisely, 30 percent of the program’s volunteer pharmacists became aware of adherence problems during medication reviews.
This study consisted of two surveys of 222 individuals attending the medication review programs to determine if they had led to medication-related behavior changes. The baseline surveys were administered by AARP staff at each event; the follow-up mail surveys were conducted between November 2006 and May 2007 by Readex Research which also processed the collected data. Further information about the study may be obtained from the report’s author, Laura Skufca, at 202-434-6285. (9 pages)