The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
JNK conceived the study. JNK, MH and CK participated in the design of the study. JNK participated in the implementation of the study, and data analysis. JNK, MH and CK participated in the interpretation of results. JNK made the first draft of the manuscript. JNK, MH, and CK revised the draft manuscript and they all read and approved the final manuscript.
Chronic diseases are rapidly increasing and are currently the major cause of death and disability worldwide. Patients with chronic diseases experience many challenges including medicine-related problems. However, there is limited information about the home management of medicines among these patients. This study therefore was to determine home medication management practices and associated factors among patients with chronic diseases seeking care in a community pharmacy in Uganda.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in a community pharmacy in Kampala from June to July 2010. A total of 207 consenting chronic disease patients or caregivers of children with chronic disease were consecutively sampled. The patients were visited at home to evaluate their drug management practices and to check their medical forms for disease types and drugs prescribed. An interviewer-administered questionnaire and an observation checklist were used to collect the data.
Overall home medication management was inappropriate for 70% (n = 145) of the participants (95% CI = 63.3-76.2) and was associated with perceived severity of disease (not severe OR =0.40, moderately severe OR = 0.35), duration of disease >5 years (OR = 2.15), and health worker not assessing for response to treatment (OR = 2.53). About 52% (n = 107) had inappropriate storage which was associated with inadequate information about the disease (OR = 2.39) and distance to the health facility >5 kilometres (OR = 2.82). Fifteen percent (n = 31) had no drug administration schedule and this was associated with increasing age (OR = 0.97), inadequate information about the disease (OR = 2.96), and missing last appointment for medical review (OR = 6.55). About 9% (n = 18) had actual medication duplication; 1.4% (n = 3) had expired medicines; while 18.4% (n = 38) had drug hoarding associated with increasing number of prescribers (OR = 1.34) and duration of disease (OR = 2.06). About 51% (n = 105) had multiple prescribers associated with perceiving the disease to be non severe (OR = 0.27), and having more than one chronic disease (OR = 2.37).
Patients with chronic disease have poor home management of medicines. In order to limit the occurrence of poor outcomes of treatment or drug toxicity, health providers need to strengthen the education of patients with chronic disease on how to handle their medicines at home.