Sunday, April 19, 2009

Study shows seniors not always aware of drug risks

From the Naniamo (BC) Daily News:
Although past studies have shown drug side-effects to be the No. 1 reason seniors are hospitalized, most don't understand the risks associated with adverse drug reactions or how to avoid them, according to research by the University of Victoria's Centre on Aging.

Anthropology professor Peter Stephenson and a team of researchers conducted in-depth interviews with 20 seniors in Parksville and Qualicum Beach in the fall to gauge their attitudes toward medication. Preliminary results show elderly people also often don't have someone they can rely on who could look at all of their health products and possible interactions.

Earlier this week, a Statistics Canada report showed that Canadians 80 and older fill five times as many drug prescriptions a year as the average person, while a study published last year by the Canadian Medical Association Journal said that adverse drug reactions accounted for 12% of all emergency-room visits.

Stephenson said more education is needed on the issue, not only for seniors but also medical professionals who are tasked with writing and handling prescriptions.

"The pharmacist usually gives them a fairly minimal accounting of things. They're often rushed (because) they have many people coming in," he said. ...more

No comments: