PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-4 (4)
 

Clipboard (0)
None

Select a Filter Below

Journals
Authors
Year of Publication
Document Types
1.  Self-medication with over-the-counter drugs and complementary medications in South Australia's elderly population 
Background
A number of surveys have examined use of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) in Australia. However, there are limited Australian data on use of CAM and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines in the elderly population. The main aims of this study were to examine self-medication practices with CAM and OTC medicines among older Australians and variables associated with their use.
Methods
The Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ALSA) is an ongoing multidisciplinary prospective study of the older population which commenced in 1992 in South Australia. Data collected in 4 waves of ALSA between 1992 and 2004 were used in this study with a baseline sample of 2087 adults aged 65 years and over, living in the community or residential aged care. OTC medicines were classified according to the World Health Organization Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) classification. CAM were classified according a modified version of the classification adopted by the Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia.
Results
The prevalence of CAM or OTC use ranged from 17.7% in 2000-2001 to 35.5% in 2003-2004. The top classes of CAM and OTC medicines used remained relatively constant over the study period. The most frequent classes of CAM used were vitamins and minerals, herbal medicines and nutritional supplements while the most commonly used OTC were analgesics, laxatives and low dose aspirin. Females and those of younger age were more likely to be CAM users but no variable was associated with OTC use.
Conclusion
Participants seemed to self-medicate in accordance with approved indications, suggesting they were informed consumers, actively looking after their own health. However, use of analgesics and aspirin are associated with an increased risk of adverse drug events in the elderly. Future work should examine how self-medication contributes to polypharmacy and increases the risk of adverse drug reactions.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-9-42
PMCID: PMC2778637  PMID: 19906314
2.  Medication safety in acute care in Australia: where are we now? Part 2: a review of strategies and activities for improving medication safety 2002-2008 
Background
This paper presents Part 2 of a literature review examining medication safety in the Australian acute care setting. This review was undertaken for the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, updating the 2002 national report on medication safety. Part 2 of the review examined the Australian evidence base for approaches to build safer medication systems in acute care.
Methods
A literature search was conducted to identify Australian studies and programs published from 2002 to 2008 which examined strategies and activities for improving medication safety in acute care.
Results and conclusion
Since 2002 there has been significant progress in strategies to improve prescription writing in hospitals with the introduction of a National Inpatient Medication Chart. There are also systems in place to ensure a nationally coordinated approach to the ongoing optimisation of the chart. Progress has been made with Australian research examining the implementation of computerised prescribing systems with clinical decision support. These studies have highlighted barriers and facilitators to the introduction of such systems that can inform wider implementation. However, Australian studies assessing outcomes of this strategy on medication incidents or patient outcomes are still lacking. In studies assessing education for reducing medication errors, academic detailing has been demonstrated to reduce errors in prescriptions for Schedule 8 medicines and a program was shown to be effective in reducing error prone prescribing abbreviations. Published studies continue to support the role of clinical pharmacist services in improving medication safety. Studies on strategies to improve communication between different care settings, such as liaison pharmacist services, have focussed on implementation issues now that funding is available for community-based services. Double checking versus single-checking by nurses and patient self-administration in hospital has been assessed in small studies. No new studies were located assessing the impact of individual patient medication supply, adverse drug event alerts or bar coding. There is still limited research assessing the impact of an integrated systems approach on medication safety in Australian acute care.
doi:10.1186/1743-8462-6-24
PMCID: PMC2754989  PMID: 19772663
3.  Medication safety in acute care in Australia: where are we now? Part 1: a review of the extent and causes of medication problems 2002–2008 
Background
This paper presents Part 1 of a two-part literature review examining medication safety in the Australian acute care setting. This review was undertaken for the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care to update a previous national report on medication safety conducted in 2002. This first part of the review examines the extent and causes of medication incidents and adverse drug events in acute care.
Methods
A literature search was conducted to identify Australian studies, published from 2002 to 2008, on the extent and causes of medication incidents and adverse drug events in acute care.
Results
Studies published since 2002 continue to suggest approximately 2%–3% of Australian hospital admissions are medication-related. Results of incident reporting from hospitals show that incidents associated with medication remain the second most common type of incident after falls. Omission or overdose of medication is the most frequent type of medication incident reported. Studies conducted on prescribing of renally excreted medications suggest that there are high rates of prescribing errors in patients requiring monitoring and medication dose adjustment. Research published since 2002 provides a much stronger Australian research base about the factors contributing to medication errors. Team, task, environmental, individual and patient factors have all been found to contribute to error.
Conclusion
Medication-related hospital admissions remain a significant problem in the Australian healthcare system. It can be estimated that 190,000 medication-related hospital admissions occur per year in Australia, with estimated costs of $660 million. Medication incidents remain the second most common type of incident reported in Australian hospitals. A number of different systems factors contribute to the occurrence of medication errors in the Australian setting.
doi:10.1186/1743-8462-6-18
PMCID: PMC2733897  PMID: 19671158
4.  Quality and availability of consumer information on heart failure in Australia 
Background
Provision of consumer information and patient education are considered an essential part of chronic disease management programmes developed for patients with heart failure. This study aimed to review the quality and availability of consumer information materials for people with heart failure in Australia.
Methods
The availability of consumer information was assessed through a questionnaire-based survey of the major organisations in Australia known, or thought, to be producing or using consumer materials on heart failure, including hospitals. The questionnaire was designed to explore issues around the use, production and dissemination of consumer materials. Only groups that had produced consumer information on heart failure were asked to complete the totality of the questionnaire.
The quality of information booklets was assessed by using a standardised checklist.
Results
Of 101 organisations which were sent a questionnaire, 33 had produced 61 consumer resources on heart failure including 21 information booklets, 3 videos, 5 reminder fridge magnets, 7 websites, 15 self-management diaries and 10 self-management plans. Questionnaires were completed for 40 separate information resources. Most had been produced by hospitals or health services. Two information booklets had been translated into other languages. There were major gaps in the availability of these resources as more than half of the resources were developed in 2 of the 8 Australian states and territories, New South Wales and Victoria.
Quality assessment of 19 information booklets showed that most had good presentation and language. Overall eight high quality booklets were identified. There were gaps in terms of topics covered, provision of references, quantitative information about treatment outcomes and quality and level of scientific evidence to support medical recommendations. In only one case was there evidence that consumers had been involved in the production of the booklets.
Conclusion
Key findings arising from the study included the need to develop a nationally coordinated approach for increasing the dissemination of information resources on heart failure. While the more recent publication of a booklet by the National Heart Foundation may have improved the situation, dissemination of written information materials may remain sub-optimal, especially among patients who are not enrolled in chronic heart failure management programmes.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-8-255
PMCID: PMC2615440  PMID: 19077257

Results 1-4 (4)