Recognition of drug related problems by home healthcare employees: A Dutch observational study with self reports

Carolien GM Sino, Ad A Dooren, van, Annemarie M Haverkamp, Marieke J Schuurmans


Background: In the Netherlands, the majority (80%) of the older people (age>65) do use prescribed drugs. 82% of the patients who receive home healthcare are 65 years of age or older. Because of natural changes in age-related drug metabolism, these older home healthcare patients are particularly vulnerable to drug-related problems.

Purpose: To describe how home healthcare Nurse Assistants (NA), home healthcare Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) and home healthcare Registered Nurses (RN) rate their knowledge, monitoring skills and ability to recognize adverse drug reactions and drug interactions of the most commonly used medication in older people, aged 75 or older, in the Netherlands.

Methods: A survey design was conducted with the use of a questionnaire in a home care organization in the Netherlands.

Results: Home healthcare workers most easily recognize side-effects of confusion, drowsiness and fatigue more easily than gastrointestinal disorders and dizziness. In addition, home healthcare Registered Nurses and home healthcare Licensed Practical Nurses were more likely than home healthcare assistants to recognize and report symptoms due to side-

Conclusion: There are differences between RN, LPN and NA in the knowledge and their skills to recognize adverse drug reactions and interactions in home care. Consequently, the allocation of clients to RNs, LPNs or NAs should be arranged well. Home healthcare workers are well positioned to act preventatively and alertly to potential drug related problems, if they have adequate access to information on side effects and interactions of medication.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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