We are aware some users might find it difficult to log into our site today. We are working on this issue and hope to have it resolved shortly.
Journal scan

Too many older people taking medications inappropriately

Taking medications inappropriately is putting older people at risk of death and hospitalisation, study finds 
Medication

Many older people in the community are taking prescription medications inappropriately, increasing the risk of mortality and hospitalisation, new study results suggest.

To examine patterns of prescription drug use in older people, a team of researchers from Ghent University in Belgium studied 503 community-dwelling adults aged 80 and over for an 18-month period.

They found that more than half (58%) of patients were taking five or more long term medications daily, but few were taking them appropriately; underuse occurred in 67% of patients and misuse occurred in 56% of those studied, with some overlap between the two groups.

Just 17% of patients were not affected by any kind of underuse or misuse.

The researchers said that, over the 18-month study period, underuse was associated with a 39% increased risk of mortality and a 26% increased risk of hospitalisation per underused medication.

‘Taking too many medications

...

Want to read more?

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first three months:

  • Customisable clinical dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals including Nursing Older People
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • NMC-compliant RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs