To develop a tool to support older people taking 5 or more medicines to safely manage their medicines at home. We designed a five-part support programme called “I Manage My Meds”. We developed both an online version of short videos of patients sharing tips, and a face-to-face version made up of support groups sessions guided by expert patients. We are now getting ready to test the “I Manage My Meds” in primary care.
What you told us:
We were very lucky to have an older patient taking many medicines as a key member of the research team. In addition we had a group of five members of the public, including older patients and family members, to guide the research team at each stage. Patients and members of the public helped us to understand the challenges of getting, organising and taking many medicines at a deeper level and the emotional as well as the practical aspects.
What we did next:
Working closely with our Patient and Public representatives helped us to:
- Identify from a patient’s perspective what it really means to have to manage your own medicines.
- Develop with them a support programme, that is based on people’s experiences and presented from the patient’s point of view
- Keep clear communication and accessibility at the heart of every aspect of the research.
Feedback received so far:
We presented I Manage My Meds at focus groups with patients, family members and healthcare staff receiving positive feedback and suggestions for improvements. They helped us rethink the language, so the programme felt more supportive and interactive and suggested alternative ways people could access the programme (e.g. GP staff could print easy read versions of the most relevant parts, according to their needs and preferences).
We are building up on what we have learnt from our Patient and Public representatives and from focus groups to set up the testing of I Manage My Meds in the real world. At the same time, we are working with older people groups and community groups to develop adapted versions of I Manage Meds to meet the needs of a diverse population.
We can’t wait to see what patients, families and staff think of Manage My Meds. We hope that in the future it will help many patients to feel more prepared and more confident around their medicines. Watch this space for updates in the new year.