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Medicines management issues in dementia and coping strategies used by people living with dementia and family carers: a systematic review

Lim, R. H. and Sharmeen, T. (2018) Medicines management issues in dementia and coping strategies used by people living with dementia and family carers: a systematic review. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 33 (12). pp. 1562-1581. ISSN 0885-6230

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/gps.4985


Objectives: Medicines play a key role in the lives of people with dementia, primarily to manage symptoms. Managing medicines is complex for people with dementia and their family carers and can result in multiple problems leading to harm. We conducted a systematic review to identify and model medication issues experienced and coping strategies used by people with dementia and/or family carers. Methods: Eleven general databases and four systematic review databases were searched. Studies were quality assessed using an established framework and thematically analysed. Results: 21 articles were included in this study and four domains affecting medication use were identified: cognitive, medication, social and cultural and, knowledge/educational and communication. People with dementia reported medication issues in all four domains but few coping strategies were developed. Family carers reported issues and coping strategies related to the medication and knowledge/educational and communication domains. Common issues with regards to knowledge and communication about medicines remain unresolved. The ‘voices’ of people with dementia appeared largely missing from the literature so were in-depth understanding of how, whether and in which circumstances coping strategies work in managing medicines. Conclusions: Medicines management is a complex set of activities and although current coping strategies exists, these were primarily used by family carers or the person with dementia-carer dyad. Health and social care practitioners and researchers should seek to understand in-depth, the ‘mechanisms of action’ of existing coping strategies and actively involve people with dementia as co-producers of knowledge to underpin any further work on medicines management.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > School of Pharmacy > Pharmacy Practice Research Group
ID Code:78528


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