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J Aging Health. 2009 Jun;21(4):567-80. doi: 10.1177/0898264309332836. Epub 2009 Apr 1.

Medication adherence in healthy elders: small cognitive changes make a big difference.

Author information

1
Division of Biomedical Engineering, Oregon Health & Sciences University, 3303 SW Bond Avenue, Portland, OR 97239, USA. hayesta@ohsu.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This was a cross-sectional study of the ability of independently living healthy elders to follow a medication regimen. Participants were divided into a group with High Cognitive Function (HCF) or Low Cognitive Function (LCF) based on their scores on the ADAS-Cog.

METHOD:

Thirty-eight participants aged 65 or older and living independently in the community followed a twice-daily vitamin C regimen for 5 weeks. Adherence was measured using an electronic 7-day pillbox.

RESULTS:

The LCF group had significantly poorer total adherence than the HCF group (LCF: 63.9 +/- 11.2%, HCF: 86.8 +/- 4.3%, t( 36) = 2.57, p = .007), and there was a 4.1 relative risk of non-adherence in the LCF group as compared to the HCF group.

DISCUSSION:

This study has important implications for the conduct of clinical drug trials, as it provides strong evidence that even very mild cognitive impairment in healthy elderly has a detrimental impact on medication adherence.

PMID:
19339680
PMCID:
PMC2910516
DOI:
10.1177/0898264309332836
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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