How does polypharmacy impact on the quality of life of older people in New Zealand?
Weerasinghe Mudiyanselage, Nadeeka Priyadarshani Weerasinghe
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Citation:Weerasinghe Mudiyanselage, N. P. W. (2020). How does polypharmacy impact on the quality of life of older people in New Zealand? (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Nursing). Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT), New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5354
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5354
The ageing population is increasing all over the world and people are living longer with multiple diseases thanks to the development of pharmaceuticals and other health care facilities. Older people who suffer from multiple diseases require multiple medications to control the severity of the disease. Polypharmacy can lead to the occurrence of adverse outcomes with prolonged usage. In New Zealand, many older people live with multiple diseases and they require multiple medications to control their diseases. Therefore, polypharmacy (using more than five medications) is prevalent among elderly New Zealanders. METHOD AND DESIGN: The purpose of this research was to investigate how polypharmacy impacts on the quality of life of older people in New Zealand. Participants of the study were 65 years or over and take five or more medications daily. To find out about the quality of life of those who take more than five medications, a validated questionnaire called Living with Medicines Questionnaire version 3 (LMQ3) was used. Out of 41 questions, 19 questions were considered for the study and the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) used to measure the level of medication burden. A descriptive statistics method were used to analyse the collected data. RESULTS: The mean age of 28 participants was 71.33 and 67% of participants were female. Most of the participants were New Zealand Europeans and taking cardiovascular system-related medications. The majority of the participants claimed that polypharmacy affected neither their social life nor driving. Further, many stated that their medication was working well. But most of them stated that they had concerns about the long- term impact of medication. The VAS showed that they experienced minimum medication related burden. CONCLUSION: According to the findings of other literature which were written about polypharmacy in other countries, polypharmacy has a both positive and negative impact on older persons’ quality of life. However, in this study, polypharmacy did not impact on the quality of participants’ lives.