ABSTRACT This paper aims to describe the socioeconomic and epidemiological profile, as well as the standards of medicine consumption in a group of 154 elderly people from five homes for the aged in Brasilia, in order to expand the understanding about some characteristics and individual needs of this population and its influence on the quality of drug’s therapy. Data were collected between January and December of 2007, it was used a questionnaire adapted from Dader’s method (2002) and a pharmacotherapeutic follow up method and it was responded by the elders and caregivers. Data were supplemented with information from medical records and prescriptions available in the institutions. The studied group has an average age of 74.6 years, living in their current homes for about 5.4 years and the group consists mainly of men with preserved cognitive status. The members of the group have low monthly income, low education level and are sedentary. They consume 4 - 5 drugs and are affected mainly by cardiovascular and psychiatric diseases. Results suggest that low monthly income, low education level, the prevalence of sedentary life , elders with compromised cognitive status, the increasing number of chronic diseases and the high consumption of drugs in the researched group may be important factors for the emergence or injury drugs-related problems (DRP) as non-adherence to treatment, medication errors, drug interactions and adverse drug reactions compromising the quality of medication therapy. This study points out the necessity of including a pharmacotherapeutic follow-up for the elderly people in order to minimize such problems and provide better quality of life for patients.
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