Background Ageing is the current global trend and one of the most important issues. It is possible to have drug-related problems in elderly patients due to incorrect medication-taking at home. Drug safety of elderly patients with long-term care at home is increasingly of concern.
Purpose The present study was to identify the drug-related problems of the elderly with chronic diseases (hypertension, hyperlipidaemia and hyperglycaemia) by pharmacists’ home visits and to reveal the helpfulness and demands of the pharmaceutical home care service.
Material and methods Home visits were conducted to provide pharmaceutical home care in elderly patients with chronic diseases. Patients’ data and drug-related problems, pharmacists’ suggestions and patients’ feedback were described and evaluated to reveal the effectiveness of pharmaceutical home care.
Results A total of 365 elderly patients with chronic diseases are included in the study. The majority of these patients are aged between 81–90 (56.4%). 1049 drug-related problems were found in totality and 2.87 problems per patient on average. The top three common problems are: the deficiency in disease knowledge (64.1%), medication knowledge deficit (54.5%) and prescription problems (43.6%). Generally, 90% of the patients consider the pharmacists’ suggestions useful and more than 70% of the patients require pharmacists’ services.
Conclusion The results reveal the drug-related problems of elderly patients with long-term care at home, and show that pharmaceutical home care is very helpful and required for these patients. Patterns of prescription problems and influencing factors of patients’ demand for pharmacists’ home visits will be further studied.
References and/or Acknowledgements The authors would like to acknowledge all the pharmacists providing pharmaceutical home care and the funding support of the Department of Health, Taipei.
No conflict of interest
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