Preventive health therapy and behavior outcomes from a brown bag medication review for older adults

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Journal of the American Geriatrics Society


BACKGROUND: Morbidity and mortality associated with preventable diseases can be reduced with the use of preventive health services. We evaluated the uptake and retention of preventive health behaviors and management of accidental medication poisonings in older adults after a health prevention educational component was combined with a brown bag medication review.

METHODS: This study used a cohort design and was conducted in six urban senior centers and three independent senior living communities in Detroit, Michigan. Participants included 85 older adults (>60 years old) taking five or more medications with 63 participants returning follow up materials. Pharmacy personnel conducted brown bag medication reviews that were combined with a preventive health education component. Information was collected on medications, vaccinations, supplement use, and accidental medication poisoning management. Participants were given written recommendations on prescription medications and preventive health therapies to improve health and medication use. An investigator developed program satisfaction survey was administered immediately after the review. An investigator-developed follow-up preventive health implementation survey was conducted at least 3 months later to assess recommendation implementation.

RESULTS: Participants' mean age was 75.9 ± 8.5 years. Fifty-six older adults had 124 recommendations in preventive health in total (1-5/participant). Eleven participants had no recommendations. Sixty-three participants (74%) returned follow-up preventive health surveys. Twenty-three percent of recommendations were already implemented with 34% planned to be done in the future. Poisoning management knowledge increased for 13 participants, reporting they would call the poison control center. The program was well received, with participants reporting high satisfaction scores (4.8 ± 0.7 out of 5).

CONCLUSIONS: Brown bag medication reviews can be an effective method to promote the uptake of preventive health behaviors among older adults, but additional accidental medication poisoning management education is still needed.

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ePub ahead of print