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How do advanced practice nurses promote medication compliance in the elderly?

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Landon, Sheila Marie
Marnocha, Suzanne
Jul 15, 2009
Medication compliance; Nurse practitioners; Patient compliance; Older people, drug use.
Background: The elderly are the fastest growing segment of the population and there are high degrees of chronicity associated with the aging process. Inappropriate prescribing to elderly patients is increasing. It is not uncommon for older patients to receive one or more medications from their primary health care provider and additional medications from specialty physicians, with each provider unaware of medications prescribed by others. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine how advanced practice nurses (APNs) promote medication compliance in the elderly. Sample and Setting: The participants were obtained through the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing and were chosen by the researcher. The listing included all APNs from the state of Wisconsin. The sample was derived from APNs practicing in Brown, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano, and Waupaca counties. These counties reflect the Northeastern Wisconsin region. The sample was obtained through a random selection of every fifth name from the list. A provider questionnaire was mailed to the APN?s home and returned to the researcher. The inclusion criteria included any male or female APN with prescription privileges, provider for any elderly person 65 years or older and resides in the above named counties. Design and Method: This study was a descriptive qualitative design. Qualitative content analysis method was used to formulate descriptions of the questionnaire. Data analysis revealed that three main themes emerged: Simplify Dosing Schedules, Frequent Follow Ups, and Affordable Medications. Implications: In light of the importance of medication compliance in modulating patient outcomes, advanced practice nurses need to recommend strategies to integrate medication compliance. The findings from this study confirm that advanced practice nurses should have the knowledge, attitude, and skills to follow an appropriately prescribed regimen. Multidisciplinary efforts to promote medication compliance may improve the outcome. Many elderly patients are unaware of the importance of complying with the medication regime which is reflected in their reports of not taking medications when they feel better or if their condition worsened. Advanced practice nurses are in a unique position to educate patients about the importance in medication compliance.
A Clinical Paper Submitted In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner -- University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 2009
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