Provide a 5 pages analysis while answering the following question: Medication Adherence in Elders. Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide. An abstract is required. Medical adherence has been defined by Osterberg & Blaschke, (2005) as “the extent to which patients take medications as prescribed by their health care providers”. It has been reported as a crucial factor determining the health and well being of elderly population by the World Health Organization (Chung et al., 2008). The issue has been reported to have high prevalence varying from 8-71%, 13-93% during various studies. It has been estimated to result in huge economic burden as well as high mortality (Unni, 2008). Recent evidences indicate that only 50% of the prescribed doses are actually taken by individuals diagnosed with chronic diseases. Of these patients approximately 22% take medication in quantities lesser than the amount recommended, 12% do not fill their prescription and 12% buy the medication but forego them entirely. Though race, ethnicity and age have not been reported to be a risk factor for medication non-adherence, the issue is rendered critical among elderly patients due to the high vulnerability of this age group to chronic illnesses (Kocureck, 2009). In the light of above discussion the importance of research investigating the various aspects of the medication adherence in elderly population is highlighted. The current research aims to examine the prevalence rates of medication adherence in elderly population. Literature Review High prevalence and large economic burden of medical non adherence has led to extensive studies and investigations enabling an understanding of the issue and devising adherence strategies. However despite the prolific research conducted during the last three decades an optimal strategy is lacking and hence the prevalence rates for non adherence are still on a rise. An estimated 100 billion dollar remains the annual cost of dealing with complications such as hospitalization, disability, disease aggravation mortality etc resulting as a consequence of non adherence (Wertheimer & Santella, 2003). On the basis of causes of non-adherence two types of medication non-adherence have been identified: intentional and unintentional. While the latter has been attributed to forgetfulness or incidental causes. the former is usually reported in patients who have been taking medications but discontinue upon feeling better or worse. However later research has shown that patient’s belief is an important contributor to forgetfulness in taking medication rendering ‘forgetting to take medication’ not a purely unintentional type of non-adherence (Unni, 2008). The major obstacles to medication resulting in non-adherence include forgetfulness, different priorities, deliberate omission of doses, information deficit and certain psychological factors. While the aforementioned factors are at least partially under the control of patients, certain factors such as cost, patient lifestyle inconsistent with medication timing and complex medication regime are important contributing factors attributed to the health care provider (Osterberg & Blaschke, 2005). Six patterns of medication adherence have been identified in patients with chronic diseases.
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