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Rev Assoc Med Bras (1992). 2009 Jul-Aug;55(4):468-74.

[Complexity of therapeutic regimens prescribed for elderly retirees, Belo Horizonte/MG, Brazil].

[Article in Portuguese]

Author information

1
Departamento de Farmácia Social, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine factors associated with therapeutic regimen complexity of drug prescriptions for elderly people in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

METHODS:

A household survey of elderly people selected by simple random sampling from Brazil's social security register. The medication complexity index (MCI), a direct measurement of actions required to administer medication, was derived from information in the latest prescription. Univariate and bivariate analyses were performed to identify factors associated with the MCI.

RESULTS:

Of the 667 interviewees, 56.5% had prescriptions meeting the inclusion criteria; most (69.2%) were females aged 72.4 years (mean); 35.5% self-rated their health good or very good; and 37.4% reported five or more diseases. In the 15 days prior to interview, 1873 drugs were used (mean=5.1), of which 942 appeared on the prescriptions examined (mean=2.5). Over the same period, 22.3% of interviewees failed to use some prescribed drug. The MCI ranged from 1 to 24 (mean=6.1). Number of drugs prescribed (>2), less schooling, worse perception of health and a lower benefit payment associated positively with greater complexity (p<0.05). An association was observed between regimen complexity and failure to use some drug in the preceding 15 days (p=0.034).

CONCLUSION:

Elderly people in worse socio-economic and health conditions seem more likely to receive more complex therapeutic regimens, which are associated with non-compliance to the proposed treatment. This is an important consideration in the healthcare of elderly. Simplification of therapy could aid self-care among the elderly.

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PMID:
19750317
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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