Abstract 18358: Active Aging and Self-Management of Cardiovascular Medications
The rising population of community-dwelling older adults in the United States (US) independently administers an average of five to seven different medications per day. Problems associated with cardiovascular medication self-management include increasing adverse effects and failed symptom management, both possibly leading to hospitalization.
Objectives: The objective of this research was to explore lifestyle patterns and characteristics and their influence upon successful cardiovascular medication management as perceived by adults over age 65.
Methods: Guided by naturalistic inquiry, two qualitative exploratory studies were conducted in different US geographical locations. Each study's methodology consisted of qualitative interview sessions with 19 older adults living in community-based settings.
Results: Inductive data analysis from the first group of participants revealed the themes of organization in daily living, being active and perceiving oneself as healthy as important in medication self-management. Data analysis from the second study revealed parallel findings, with the inclusion of some potential barriers to successful medication self-management: unorganized or inactive lifestyles. Results from both of these studies indicate that older adults whose lifestyle patterns reflect activity and organization are more likely to be successful with their medication self-management than those whose lifestyle patterns reflect inactivity or unorganization. Participants from both studies provided examples of methods to maintain order and remain active despite physical limitations. Older adults' descriptions of themselves as healthy equated with mobility and activity and descriptions of themselves as unhealthy centered on immobility and weakness.
Conclusions: Through their scheduled days, older adults who accomplished the goals of exercise, social interaction, and taking care of self and others to remain independent were more successful in their medication management processes than those who did not exhibit these characteristics. This information is important to cardiovascular health care professionals as they educate and encourage older adults about health promotion activities and self-management of medications.
- © 2011 by American Heart Association, Inc.