Improving Medication Adherence in Older Persons with Chronic Illness

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Kanoklekha Suwannapong
Supanee Klungrit


           Older persons with chronic illness require continuing and long term medication therapy. Therefore, medication adherence is important for them because it associated with the effective of treatment, reducing severity of disease, improving quality of life, reducing mortality, and costs. However, older persons with chronic illness still poor medication adherence. Nurses, who are the one in health care team have important role to help them improve medication adherence. Although, there are various studies about medication adherence. But, the studies about the medication adherence in older persons with chronic illness were limited. These studies were focused on specific study in some chronic diseases. Moreover, they defined medication adherence in different ways. In this paper, the authors have conducted literature review on researches and articles of medication adherence in older persons with chronic illness. This review article covers: 1) the definition and components of medication adherence, 2) medication adherence in older persons with chronic illness, 3) factor affecting medication adherence measuring medication adherence including social and economic factors, health care team and system-related factors, condition-relate factors, therapy-relate factors, and patient-related factors, 4) assessing medication adherence by using objective measurement and subjective measurement, and 5) guideline for improving medication adherence. Nurse can use this guideline to promote medication adherence in older persons with chronic illness.


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