Despite the rapid rise in the use of multicompartmental compliance aids (MCAs), little is known about the role they play in self-management of medication.
To explore the perceived benefits of MCAs for people using them to manage their own or a relative's medication.
Design of study
Qualitative study using in-depth interviews.
Recruitment was via posters and leaflets in general practices and community pharmacies. In-depth interviews were conducted using a topic guide.
Nineteen people were interviewed. Three overarching themes emerged in relation to medicine taking: disruption, organisation, and adherence, which impacted on control. The medication regime had caused disruption to their lives and this had led to the purchase of an MCA. The MCA enabled them to organise their medication, which they believed had improved the efficiency of medicine taking and saved time. Although the MCA did not prompt them to take their medication, they could see whether they had actually taken it or not, which alleviated their anxiety. To meet their individual needs and lifestyles, some had developed broader systems of medication management, incorporating the MCA. For a small cost – the initial outlay for the MCA and time spent loading it – they gained control over the management of their medication and their condition.
This group found the use of an MCA to be beneficial, but advice and support regarding how best to manage their medication and on the most appropriate design to suit their needs would be helpful.