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Methodology of a pilot study to improve the quality of medication use in older adults: Enhancing Quality in Psychiatry Using Pharmacists (EQUIPP).

Roth MT, Watson LC, Esserman DA, Ivey JL, Hansen R, Lewis CL, Weinberger M. Methodology of a pilot study to improve the quality of medication use in older adults: Enhancing Quality in Psychiatry Using Pharmacists (EQUIPP). The American journal of geriatric pharmacotherapy. 2009 Dec 1; 7(6):362-72.

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Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Medication-related problems are prevalent in older adults, contributing to increased harm and health care costs and negatively impacting quality of care. Older adults with psychiatric disease are at an increased risk because of their underlying disease and types of medications prescribed. Efforts to improve the quality of medication use often focus on select medication-related problems, select diagnoses, or predefined quality indicators; however, such an approach fails to consider the potential for multiple coexisting problems within individuals. OBJECTIVE: A pilot study was conducted to test the feasibility of a medication management program designed to improve the quality of medication use in older adults with underlying psychiatric disease. This article describes the methodology of the study and details of the intervention, and presents baseline characteristics of the study population. METHODS: English-speaking psychiatry outpatients aged > or = 65 years taking > or = 2 drugs that are active in the central nervous system were enrolled into a medication management program, in which medication management was provided by a clinical pharmacist for 6 months. Patients were evaluated at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months. Data were collected on the patients' demographic characteristics, health and medications, health literacy, functional status, symptoms of depression, health services utilization, quality of medication use, adherence, and patient satisfaction with the program. RESULTS: One hundred seventy-three older adults were assessed for inclusion; 146 were not eligible, not reachable, or not interested in participating. Twenty-seven older adults were enrolled in the study, all but one of whom completed the 3- and 6-month visits. The mean (SD) age of the 27 participants was 74.7 (8.1) years; 63% were female, 74% were white, and 70% had no cognitive impairment. CONCLUSIONS: This pilot study tested the feasibility of a medication management program designed to improve the quality of medication use in older adults with underlying psychiatric disease. Findings from this study, which will be reported at a later date, will help to refine the program and subsequent testing, with the overall goal of improving the quality of medication use and health outcomes in older adults.





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