Year of Publication

2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Julie Ossege

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Lewis Perkins

Committee Member

Dr. Mikael Jones

Abstract

The elderly population (those aged 65 years and older) has an increased risk of experiencing adverse effects from their prescribed medications. These adverse effects are due to many reasons, one being changes that naturally occur in the aging body, such as diminished kidney function or decreased gastrointestinal motility. This project explores the prescribing practices of one primary care practice setting. Specifically, this project sought to determine the number of patients in a primary care practice who were prescribed medications on the Beers list and whether or not the patients received education on adverse effects. The results concluded the most frequently prescribed high-risk medications at the project practice site were corticosteroids, Diclofenac, Pseudoephedrine, Alprazolam, Zolpidem and Meloxicam. Also, only four of the 101 patient records reviewed had any documentation regarding education on potential side effects from the prescribed high-risk medication. Further research is needed to uncover reasons why patients are not educated on medication side effects. Strides need to be taken to educate this vulnerable population.

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