Medication adherence among the elderly: A test of the effects of the Liberty 6000 technology.

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Medication adherence is a formidable challenge for the elderly who may have several prescribed medications while dealing with limited incomes and declining health. The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the Liberty 6000, an automated capsule and tablet dispenser that provides proper medication dosages and is intended to encourage and track medication adherence. Seven focus groups were assembled; these comprised 49 men and women ages 65 to 98 years of Black, Anglo, and Hispanic descent who met the following criteria: living independently or semi-independently, had suffered one or more impairments, and were taking at least three prescription medications. ... continued below

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August, Suzanne M. December 2005.

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  • August, Suzanne M.

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Medication adherence is a formidable challenge for the elderly who may have several prescribed medications while dealing with limited incomes and declining health. The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the Liberty 6000, an automated capsule and tablet dispenser that provides proper medication dosages and is intended to encourage and track medication adherence. Seven focus groups were assembled; these comprised 49 men and women ages 65 to 98 years of Black, Anglo, and Hispanic descent who met the following criteria: living independently or semi-independently, had suffered one or more impairments, and were taking at least three prescription medications. Each focus group session lasted 90 minutes and was tape-recorded and transcribed verbatim, resulting in about 2,600 lines of text. Each question was designed to be open-ended to avoid introducing any bias that might influence the response. The Health Belief Model conceptually guided the study that addressed perceptions of illness susceptibility and severity, barriers, benefits, and cues to action associated with medication adherence. Main benefits of taking medications included avoiding inherited illnesses (or tendencies for illnesses), and reducing illness symptoms. Barriers to taking medications included forgetting, dexterity problems, and high cost. Benefits of the proposed intervention included reminding, caregiver notification, and providing a printed log of medications taken and missed. Barriers associated with the Liberty 6000 included its relatively large size, the difficulties that confronted older adults when loading the device, and its perceived cost. Using an adoption prediction model proposed a way to overcome barriers and encourage acceptance as well as a strategy to maintain acceptance over time. The model also can be used to evaluate a wide variety of medical devices for elderly people. This study identified the advantages and disadvantages of the Liberty 6000. Findings also suggest areas for further investigation by the nursing community and healthcare policy makers in finding solutions to the myriad problems faced by older people in medication adherence.

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  • December 2005

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  • Feb. 15, 2008, 4:26 p.m.

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  • Dec. 4, 2013, 12:32 p.m.

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August, Suzanne M. Medication adherence among the elderly: A test of the effects of the Liberty 6000 technology., dissertation, December 2005; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4979/: accessed February 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .