J Korean Acad Fundam Nurs.  2008 May;15(2):195-205.

Drug Use in the Elderly

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Nursing, Chungju National University, Korea. mspark@cjnu.ac.kr

Abstract

PURPOSE: This study was conducted to identify drug use by elders. METHOD: There were 304 participants age 65 or older included in this study. Data were collected using a questionnaire about drug use in the past 4 weeks. The questionnaire, a modification of Uhm's (2005), Lee's (2001), and Ellor and Kurz's (1982) tools, consisted of 17 questions on general and health characteristics, 17 on drug usage and 9 on behaviors related to drug misuse.
RESULTS
85.5% of participants reported taking at least one type of prescription or non-prescription drug. 26.0% of participants reported taking only prescription drugs, 3.9% reported taking only non-prescription drugs, and 55.6% reported taking both prescription and non-prescription drugs. 17.1% of participants reported side effects from the drugs. The mean score for behaviors related to drug misuse was 7.53. Elders taking only non-prescription drugs showed more drug misuse than elders taking only prescription drugs or both. Women used more prescription, non-prescription drugs or both than man. Elders in rural areas used more non-prescription drugs than those in urban areas.
CONCLUSION
Even though pharmacies were separated from medical practices in 2000, most older adults continue to use and misuse prescription and non-prescription drugs.

Keyword

Aged; Prescription drug; Drugs non-prescription
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