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Correlates of caregivers' involvement in the management of older adults' medications

Background Family caregivers are actively involved in medication management, yet little is known about factors associated with caregivers' involvement in this role and how that information can be utilized to engage caregivers in the healthcare system. Objectives To explore factors associated with caregiver involvement in various aspects of older adults' medication management (i.e., ordering, keeping track or ensuring the correct medication is taken at the correct time, and injecting medications). Methods A retrospective analysis of two national surveys, the 2011 National Health and Aging Trends Study and the National Study of Caregiving was performed. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to examine the associations between demographic and caregiving variables with caregiver involvement in three medication management activities. Results Approximately two-thirds of family caregivers (N = 1369) were involved in one or more medication management activities. Factors associated with caregivers' assistance with ordering medications included being female, high frequency of involvement in instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), involvement in medically-related activities, and caring for an older, less educated, or Hispanic care-recipient and individuals with lung disease or dementia (p < 0.05). Caregiver living arrangement, high frequency of involvement in activities of daily living (ADLs) and IADLs, involvement in medically-related activities along with care-recipient's race/ethnicity and having a dementia diagnosis were all associated with caregiver assistance in keeping track of medications (p < 0.05). Factors associated with assistance in injecting medications were caring for older adults with diabetes or stroke, or being involved in medically-related activities (p < 0.05). Conclusions Different demographic and caregiving factors were associated with caregiver involvement in various medication management activities. Recurring factors included race/ethnicity, certain care-recipient disease states, and caregiver involvement in IADLs and medically-related activities. Healthcare providers can play a proactive role in engaging caregivers in discussion about medication management and these findings can help practitioners more effectively target caregivers for education and support.

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Type of Reference
Type of Work
Journal article
Elsevier inc
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Issue Number
Journal Titles
Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
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