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Polypharmacy in older people should be addressed by an annual review of the chronic medication. In the PIL-study this was done by an integrated approach by GP, practice nurse, pharmacist, specialist and patient. All patients were first visited at home by the practice nurse. What 'over the counter' (OTC) medications do polypharmacy patients use? Do they know the indications of the prescribed medication? Does medication use according to the patient match with medication use according to the records of GP and pharmacist? Inclusion criteria were: age 60 years or older, daily use of five or more chronic medications, mental competence, and adequate command of the Dutch language. All patients were visited at home by the practice nurse, who made an inventory of the actual drug use. Five hundred fifty patients used a total of 5576 drugs, including 527 (9.4%) OTC medication. Patients knew the indication of 64% of the prescribed medication. The number of prescribed drugs that a patient actually used did not match the numbers known to GP and pharmacist. In 60.4% of all medication prescriptions there was complete agreement between GP, pharmacist and patient. On a patient level agreement was 18.7%. Home visits by the nurse practitioner to make an inventory of the medication as reported by the patient seem to have an added value.


D Bosch-Lenders, M van den Akker, H E J H Stoffers, H van der Kuy, J M G A Schols, J A Knottnerus. How much do patients and health professionals (really) know? The surplus value of a home visit to the patient with polypharmacy by the practice nurse, to support medication reviews in primary care]. Tijdschrift voor gerontologie en geriatrie. 2013 Apr;44(2):72-80

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PMID: 23508790

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