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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 65-72

A study of medication compliance and medication safety among geriatric patients in rural areas


1 JSS Medical College, JSS Hospital, Mysore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of General Medicine, JSS Hospital, Mysore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. B Durga Srivalli
Flat No. 303, Leo Poojitha Apartments, 3rd Main Road, V. V. Mohalla, Mysore - 570 002, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/AJIM.AJIM_4_19

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Background: Non- adherence is a major clinical problem in the management of patients with chronic illness. This problem is compounded with regard to the elderly, as they are prone to multiple health issues and therefore are at a higher risk of poly-pharmacy. Medication safety is also a particular concern for the elderly as they are exposed to the risk of increased drug interactions and their potential for side effects. In India, around 69% of population is rural based but there is a very limited research on the impact of rural status as a factor in adherence pointing to a need for more research in this area. Aims and Objectives: This project researched compliance levels around the rural areas of Mysuru, and the awareness of medical safety requirements. Materials and Methods: A cross sectional, interview based survey was conducted, performed by house visits. Elderly patients, above the age of 60 who were on medication for a non-communicable chronic illness were selected for this study. The data was analyzed using SPSS Version 22.0. Results: The results are broadly consistent with the findings of other studies in this area. Among the rural population sampled (118 subjects), 46.6% were fully adherent to the prescribed medication. The factors that were found to significantly influence adherence were forgetfulness, duration and cost of medication, polypharmacy and absence of caregivers. There was no statistically significant association between adherence and the factors of age, gender, educational qualification, distance from the pharmacy and co-morbidities. There seemed to be a good level of awareness regarding medication safety requirements. Conclusion: Thus, the study revealed that: While a good number of patients are compliant to their medication requirements, a substantial number [53.4%] lay outside the complete-adherence spectrum. For those who lay outside the adherence spectrum, strategies around care-giving, and technology to regularly check on the patients could help increase the adherence. Suitably simplifying the current practice of polypharmacy requirements, and minimizing costs might aid the adherence among the elderly.


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