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Title: Knowledge of prescription medications among cancer patients aged 65years and above
Authors: Si, P.
Koo, K.N.
Poon, D.
Chew, L. 
Keywords: Cancer
Geriatric oncology
Medication knowledge
Medication list
Medication use
Safe medication practices
Issue Date: Apr-2012
Citation: Si, P., Koo, K.N., Poon, D., Chew, L. (2012-04). Knowledge of prescription medications among cancer patients aged 65years and above. Journal of Geriatric Oncology 3 (2) : 120-130. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Objectives: Studies have repeatedly shown that older adults have poor medication knowledge and utilize a disproportionate share of medications. These put them at high risk for drug-drug interactions. This study aims to determine the knowledge of prescription medications among cancer patients aged ≥ 65. years and determine the extent of safe medication practices adopted by patients. Secondary objectives include determining potential drug-drug interactions and uncovering potential areas of risk in safe medication use. Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional study of patients/caregivers attending outpatient clinics at the National Cancer Centre Singapore. Patients (≥ 65. years) taking ≥ 1 prescription medication at home were recruited. Patients were interviewed using structured questionnaires in a language understood by patients. Information was verified through the electronic prescription system and case notes. Results: A total of 196 patients were included in the analysis. The mean age (S.D.) of patients was 71 (4.54) years. Patients were on an average of 4.09 medications. Seventy-four (37.7%) patients failed to report ≥ one of their medications. Few patients could name their medications (8.7%), were aware of precautionary instructions (23.5%) and keep a medication list (15.3%). A majority of patients correctly identified the indications for use (69.4%), prescribed doses (77.0%) and dosing frequencies (73.0%). Approximately half of the patients would read drug labels (51.0%), discard medication when no longer needed (60.7%) and check expiry dates (44.9%). About a third would check for any changes in medication/regimen associated with new prescriptions (37.8%). No clinically significant drug-drug interaction was detected. Conclusion: Elderly patients do not possess a complete knowledge about their medications and lack practices for safe medication use. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Source Title: Journal of Geriatric Oncology
ISSN: 18794068
DOI: 10.1016/j.jgo.2011.12.004
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