Older patient participation in discharge medication communication: an observational study

Georgia Tobiano, Elizabeth Manias, Lukman Thalib, Gemma Dornan, Trudy Teasdale, Jeremy Wellwood, Wendy Chaboyer

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OBJECTIVE: To describe the extent to which older patients participate in discharge medication communication, and identify factors that predict patient participation in discharge medication communication. DESIGN: Observational study. SETTING: An Australian metropolitan tertiary hospital. PARTICIPANTS: 173 older patients were observed undertaking one medication communication encounter prior to hospital discharge. OUTCOME: Patient participation measured with MEDICODE, a valid and reliable coding framework used to analyse medication communication. MEDICODE provides two measures for patient participation: (1) Preponderance of Initiative and (2) Dialogue Ratio. RESULTS: The median for Preponderance of Initiative was 0.7 (IQR=0.5-1.0) and Dialogue Ratio was 0.3 (IQR=0.2-0.4), indicating healthcare professionals took more initiative and medication encounters were mostly monologue rather than a dialogue or dyad. Logistic regression revealed that patients had 30% less chance of having dialogue or dyads with every increase in one medication discussed (OR 0.7, 95% CI 0.5 to 0.9, p=0.01). Additionally, the higher the patient's risk of a medication-related problem, the more initiative the healthcare professionals took in the conversation (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.0 to 2.1, p=0.04). CONCLUSION: Older patients are passive during hospital discharge medication conversations. Discussing less medications over several medication conversations spread throughout patient hospitalisation and targeting patients at high risk of medication-related problems may promote more active patient participation, and in turn medication safety outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere064750
Number of pages10
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2023


  • GENERAL MEDICINE (see Internal Medicine)

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