Pill for this and a pill for that: A cross‐sectional survey of use and understanding of medication among adults with multimorbidity Academic Article uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: To understand the challenges managing medication use and knowledge of people living with multimorbidity. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of 234 adults with multimorbidity, identified using retrospective hospital discharge data. Participants were recruited from two primary health organisations in New Zealand. RESULTS: Three quarters of participants (75%) were prescribed four or more medications, and one in four (27%) were prescribed eight or more medications. Participants reported knowing what their medications were for (88%, 95% CI 81.4-93.8) and when to take them (99%, 95% CI 97.5-99.9). However, over a fifth (22%, 95% CI 13.7-30.4) reported some problems managing multiple medications, and 40% (95% CI 30.2-50.2) reported a problem with side effects. CONCLUSION: The results highlight the need to consider how prescribing can be adapted for people with multimorbidity and move beyond the application of multiple disease-specific guidelines.


  • Millar, Elinor
  • Gurney, Jason
  • Stanley, James
  • Stairmand, Jeannine
  • Davies, Cheryl
  • Semper, Kelly
  • Dowell, Anthony
  • Lawrenson, Ross
  • Mangin, Derelie A
  • Sarfati, Diana

publication date

  • June 2019