It is estimated that three in four older Americans have multiple chronic conditions. Polypharmacy, defined as a patient taking multiple medications, is extremely common among patients with multiple chronic conditions and is the strongest risk factor for adverse drug events (ADE). Elderly patients are particularly prone to experience ADE due to decline in major organ functions. Managing multiple medications at home requires intricate organizational skills, but many low-income community-dwelling seniors lack the support and cognition required to manage such a complex task. The goal of this proposal is to find potential comparative effectiveness research (CER) questions to improve medication management in a racially/ethnically diverse group of community-dwelling elderly patients with polypharmacy.
This goal will be achieved through two aims: (1) to establish a multidisciplinary workgroup made of patients, caregivers, providers, heath educators, patient advocacy organizations, and state agency stakeholders; and (2) to produce a list of potential patient-centered CER questions. This proposal will be carried out through an existing patient network at Texas Southern University (TSU) Center on the Family Aging and Intergenerational Resource project (AIRP). TSU is a historically black university located in the urban Houston neighborhood.
The AIRP has been a community-based project successfully implemented since 2013 in collaboration with the DHHS Area Agency on Aging of the Greater Houston metropolitan area. The AIRP project serves a predominantly African-American population group mostly living below the poverty line. In 2016 alone, it reached out to more than 800 seniors to provide general health and wellness education.