Medication use among older adults: A qualitative study in primary healthcare in Penang

Christina Malini Christopher, Mark Wing Loong Cheong, Ali Qais Blebil, K.C. Bhuvan, Deepa Alex, Mohamed Izham B. Mohamed Ibrahim, Norhasimah Ismail

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Introduction: The spike in the ageing population percentage is remarkable, and it has brought the limelight to the primary healthcare system, the first point of healthcare in Malaysia.

Objective: This study aims to understand the perspectives of older adults on the various challenges they encounter related to medication use at primary healthcare in the northern state of Malaysia, Penang.

Methods: A qualitative method was employed to explore views on accessibility to primary care, medication use problems, and opinions regarding healthcare and medicine use at the primary care level. Potential participants with many medications and having problems taking them were recruited, which the pharmacists and general practitioners pointed out. Transcription was conducted by one author and was checked for validity by another author, an academician with experience in qualitative data analysis. Subsequently, categories were developed based on the codings corresponding to the themes emerging from the data. Nvivo 12 was used to assist in the analysis.

Results: Six themes were derived from thematic analysis. (1) Accessible primary healthcare for older adults; (2) Barriers achieving optimal primary healthcare; (3) Belief and knowledge about medication; (4) Engaging communication with healthcare providers with family support; (5) Current satisfaction with primary healthcare medication use services and facilities; (6) Improving medication use among older adults to achieve the optimum need. The study's findings revealed that older adults experience medication use problems and identified potential recommendations for improving healthcare delivery in primary care based on their perspectives.

Conclusion: The present study provides a comprehensive exploration of the perspectives and challenges faced by older adults in primary healthcare settings. The findings suggest that there is a pressing need to prioritize the healthcare needs of older adults in Malaysia in order to enhance the quality of care provided to this population
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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