Frequency of risk factors that potentially increase harm from medications in older adults receiving primary care.
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BACKGROUND: Many circumstances elevate patients, especially older adults, risk for drug-related morbidity and misadventures. Understanding the frequency of these situations can help with the design of initiatives to address or alter these circumstances with the aim of reducing medication therapy-related concerns and associated expenditures. OBJECTIVE: To describe the frequency of circumstances that may place older adults at higher risk for drug-related morbidity and misadventures in a large sample of elderly patients visiting family medicine clinics. METHODS: Elderly adults at 7 family medicine practices across Ontario self-completed the 10-item Medication Risk Questionnaire (MRQ). RESULTS: Surveys were completed by 907 patients, with a mean age of 72.4 (SD 10.7) years and a mean number of 4.8 medical conditions (SD 2.3; min-max: 0-14). Many subjects were taking multiple medications (mean 6.9 (SD 3.8; min-max: 0-21)) and over 90% of respondents reported at least one indicator that potentially increases their risk of drug-related morbidity. CONCLUSION: Number of medications, number of medical conditions and number of daily medication doses were the most frequently observed risks for medication-related issues in this large sample of elderly patients visiting family medicine clinics.
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