Resident and family engagement in medication management in aged care facilities: a systematic review

Elizabeth Manias, Tracey Bucknall, Alison Hutchinson, Briony Dow, Narelle Borrott

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Medication-related harms may occur if residents and families are not involved when important medication decisions are made. We examined how residents and families engage in the management of residents’ medications in aged care facilities. Areas covered: A systematic review was undertaken, which was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42020152700). Electronic databases were searched from inception until 27 August 2020 using MEDLINE/PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO and EMBASE. Data synthesis was undertaken using thematic analysis. Expert opinion: Forty studies were included. Communication tended to be unidirectional comprising consultations where residents and families provided medication information to health care providers or where health care providers provided medication information to residents and families. Many challenges prevailed that prevented effective engagement, including families’ hesitation about making decisions, and the lack of adequately-trained health care providers. Testing of interventions often did not include residents or families in developing these interventions or in examining how they participated in medication decisions following implementation of interventions. Areas for improvement comprise actively involving residents and families in planning interventions for resident-centered care. Health care providers need to have greater appreciation of families’ ability to detect dynamic changes in residents’ behavior, which can be used to enable optimal alterations in medication therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1391-1409
Number of pages19
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Safety
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Aged care
  • clinical decision-making
  • engagement
  • health communication
  • medication therapy management
  • residential facilities

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