OPEN Research Support

Camilla Puggaard Lynnerup
Department for Infectious Diseases, Odense University Hospital

Projekt styring
Projekt status    Sampling ongoing
Data indsamlingsdatoer
Start 01.09.2019  
Slut 31.08.2022  

Polypharmacy and medication safety in vulnerable older immigrants with cognitive disorders - A multi method study

Short summary

This project aims to develop an intervention to reduce medication management errors among older vulnerable immigrants with cognitive disorders. This patient group is often depending on their families to handle their medication, but the families are not always equipped for the task. Adding sector transitions the patient safety for these patients is at risk.


Older immigrants with cognitive disorders are a specific vulnerable patient group. These patients often seek professional help in a late state of the disease due to cultural beliefs and fear of stigma correlated to cognitive disorders. This leads to fewer older immigrants getting a formal diagnosis and thereby gets the right treatment and the right medication. An increased effort to get these patients the right treatment will increase quality of life for the patient en reduces stress for both the patient and the relatives.

Relatives of older immigrants often have the responsibility to care for the older, which also includes handling diseases and medication. But the relatives do not necessarily have the right required competencies for medication management. Furthermore the families often need a interpreter in the meeting with the health system to communicate with the health professionals to get the best possible treatment. But at some points in the health system a professional interpreter er is not available, which can have negative consequences for the treatment, medication management and patient safety. Beside language barriers, cultural differences, being old, using several different medications and sector transitions increase the risk of medication errors.

This study aims to increase the medication safety among older immigrants with cognitive disorders using 4 or more different medications daily by; (i) investigate and cover the challenges with medication management for the patients from the perspective of: patient, relatives, GP, hospital department, pharmacy and home care. (ii) Develop an intervention to overcome the challenges discovered in (i) by user involvement and test the intervention by a feasibility study.

Description of the cohort

Patients in this study will be: Persons at the age of 72 or older, minority ethnic background, polypharmacy (using at least 4 prescripted medications daily), suffering from cognetive disorders in the terms of dementia, memory loss or PTSD, and be dependent on relatives in terms of medication management.

For every patient case, the relevant GP, pharmacy, hospital department and home care will be invited to participate in the study. The patients and relatives are the ones who designate the health professionels who are implicated in the medication management of the patient. 

Data and biological material

Qualitative data via interviews, focus groups and observations will be collected. In addition quantitative data via questionnaries and relevant data bases will be obtained too.

Publications associated with the project

Department of Geriatric Medicin, Odense University Hospital

  • Head of Research Unit, Jesper Ryg, PhD

Research and development, Pharmakon

  • Head of Research, Charlotte Rossing, PhD