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publicado em 24/03/2011 às 17h00:00
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Social capital can aid adherence to medication by the elderly

To know the causes of underuse of medication, researchers looked for 1,134 elderly people over 60

 
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Despite the high costs of prescription drugs requires the elderly, this factor alone does not explain non-adherence to recommended treatment, since many patients use the medication regardless of cost and others give up even when they can afford. In order to investigate what may be the cause for such underuse of medicines, researchers at the Federal University of Minas Gerais and Fiocruz Mine looked 1,134 elderly people over 60, living in Belo Horizonte.

Patients that reduce the cost of medicines by taking them occasionally, using lower doses than those prescribed or postponing the replacement may not achieve the full benefits offered by treatment, the researchers say in an article published in Journal of Public Health, Fiocruz. Moreover, this system of non-adherence has been associated with serious consequences, including reduction of information about their health status, increased hospital admissions and deaths.

The results showed that adherence to medication was greater for individuals with more cohesion to the neighborhood with housing and medical coverage for additional. Moreover, the prevalence of nonadherence was greater for older people with poorer self perceived health, with multiple chronic conditions and for those who rarely or never get the health care professional information regarding their health or treatment.

According to researchers, one of the key components to understanding the underuse of medications is the perception of social capital for the elderly, ie, they have a social structure based on reciprocity and mutual obligations that facilitate effective joint actions, which may change their notion of health care access and quality of life. This capital could thus determine adherence to medication from their influence on health-related behaviors, the transmission of health information on access to care services and the social control of deviant attitudes.

The mechanism that links the capital with compliance has not yet been elucidated, but it is possible that a large quantity of the former may act as a boost against injustice in health or to help people access services and resources such as medicines. Particularly, elderly with a greater sense of belonging to a community probably should have healthier behavior, such as adherence to medical prescriptions, say the researchers. We believe that health policies can use this information to establish initiatives to enhance engagement between older people and their communities to encourage the use of medication, regardless of the difficulties of cost.

Polish

Source: FIOCRUZ
   Palavras-chave:   Treatment Adherence    Drug    Aged Costs   
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