“I just take them because I know the people that give them to me”: A theory-informed interview study of community-dwelling people with dementia and carers’ perspectives of medicines management

Heather E. Barry, Máiréad McGrattan, Cristín Ryan, A. Peter Passmore, A. Louise Robinson, Gerard J. Molloy, Carmel M. Darcy, Hilary Buchanan, Carmel M. Hughes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective
Identify facilitators and barriers to successful medicines management for people with dementia (PwD) in primary care from the perspectives of community‐dwelling PwD and carers.

Methods
Semi‐structured interviews conducted with PwD and carers in Northern Ireland. The 14‐domain Theoretical Domains Framework guided data collection and analysis. Interviews explored participants’ experiences and perceptions of medicines management. PwD also completed the Beliefs about Medicines Questionnaire indicating their level of agreement with statements about medicines. Qualitative data were analysed using the framework method and content analysis. Quantitative data were analysed descriptively.

Results
Eighteen PwD and 15 carers were interviewed. PwD believed they were competent with medicines management (‘Beliefs about capabilities’). Most PwD reported having strategies to prompt them to take their medicines (‘Memory, attention and decision processes’). Carers played an important role in supporting PwD with medicines management (‘Social influences’) and monitoring adherence (‘Behavioural regulation’) and anticipated having to take on a greater role as patients’ cognitive impairment worsened (‘Beliefs about consequences’). Participants highlighted assistance provided by community pharmacies with medicines acquisition and delivery (‘Environmental context and resources’) and placed great trust in primary healthcare professionals (‘Social influences’). PwD had positive attitudes towards medication and believed strongly in the necessity of their medicines.

Conclusions
This is the first study to use a theoretical approach to explore medicines management for community‐dwelling PwD. The findings provide new insights into the critical role of carers in facilitating optimal medicines management and will inform future intervention development, in which carers’ needs assessment and involvement will be key.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Early online date23 Dec 2020
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 23 Dec 2020

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