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Acta Médica Costarricense

versão On-line ISSN 0001-6002versão impressa ISSN 0001-6012


ROJAS-MORA, Laura  e  SAENZ-CAMPOS, Desirée. Análisis de la condición funcional de los adultos mayores para el manejo dómestico de los medicamentos. Acta méd. costarric [online]. 2000, vol.42, n.3, pp.115-120. ISSN 0001-6002.

Background-aim: Many elderly people have difficulties using their medications, with a higher risk of dosing errors which might have significant medical and economic consequences. The purpose of this study was to assess the functional condition of ambulatory elderly adults (ability to manage their medication) by evaluating their psychomotor abilities in relationship with self-administration (or assisted administration) of these products. Methods: Descriptive and transversal study. A total of 52 elderly adults (older than 65 years and residents of the urban area) were interviewed at home (30 females (F) and 22 males (M)). Age= 76 + 6 years (M= 78 + 7 y., F= 75 + 6 y.). We applied a scale to evaluate the abilities for the use of medications in which we included five points: ability to read a prescription label, to open a safety-capped prescription vial, to remove two tablets from a prescription vial, to understand instructions and to recognize tablet colors, for a total score (5 points) assigned. (chi-square statistics were used to find differences in sexes p<0.05). Results: 73% (M= 69%, F= 75%) could read (social security labels) prescription labels, 56% (M= 44%, F= 61%, p<0.05) opened the safety-capped vials, 87% (M= 75%, F= 92%, p<0.05) removed tablets from full medication vials, 96% (M= 87%, F= 100%, p<0.05) interpreted medication instructions correctly, and 90% (M= 87%, F= 92%) recognized the five different tablet colors; 44% (M= 37%, F= 47%, p<0.05) showed a optimal ability for medication management (all tasks evaluated), women showed better results. 85% used medications (n= 44), 82% (n= 36) by self-administration and most of them (83% n=30) resolved between 4 and 5 items. A significant higher number of women (+44.5%, p<0.05) are in charge of the medication at home. Two males didn't resolve any task, and 2 women that manage their medicines and the medication of their spouses resolved only two tasks. Conclusions: In the individuals tested, the functional capacity is variable, but enough for the domestic management of medicines. The administration of medicines for themselves or others is dependent on need and has no relation with the level of conservation of their psychomotor abilities. Self-administration of drugs and administration to relatives is caused by domestic necessity and is independent of degree of psychomotor abilities status. Nonetheless most patients that self-administere their medications have good psychomotor performance and drug intake was correct.

Palavras-chave : ancianos; autoadministración; condición funcional; habilidades psicomotoras; farmacoterapia geriátrica; medicamentos.

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