A descriptive-comparative study of medications used by older people prior to and following admission to a continuing care facility


Medications are beneficial for curing or managing acute and chronic illnesses. Medications typically have positive outcomes, although older people are prone to drug-related problems. Community-dwelling seniors are at particularly high risk of polypharmacy, as they tend to receive many prescriptions over time and from different care providers. Continuing-care facility admission presents an excellent opportunity for a comprehensive medication review. A research study was conducted to describe and compare medications taken by community-dwelling seniors prior to and following admission to a continuing-care facility. This pilot project involved data being gathered from the charts of deceased residents, as required by a University Health Research Ethics Board, who had been cared for at one large local continuing-care facility. The facility administrators also approved this study, in part to evaluate their policy to conduct a medication review for all new residents within six weeks of entry. This study revealed a slight but statistically significant reduction in the number of medications following this review. Other issues such as medication interactions and required dosage changes were addressed by this medication review. Although this study was confined to one continuing-care facility and a small number of residents, the findings suggest medication reviews would be beneficial upon admission to all continuing-care facilities, and annually perhaps through other means for older persons living in the community.

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Visram, A. and Wilson, D. (2012) A descriptive-comparative study of medications used by older people prior to and following admission to a continuing care facility. Open Journal of Nursing, 2, 8-14. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2012.21002.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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