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User perceptions of in-home medication dispensing devices.

Wakefield BJ, Orris LJ, Holman JE, Russell CL. User perceptions of in-home medication dispensing devices. Journal of gerontological nursing. 2008 Jul 1; 34(7):15-25.

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The purpose of this study was to characterize patient and clinician perceptions of programmable medication devices (dispensers and timers) being marketed to consumers to improve medication adherence. Using principles of usability testing, 33 volunteer staff and clinic patients rated seven devices. Raters scored devices on cueing and alarms, storage and dispensing, machine characteristics, potential to improve adherence, and cost. Medication dispensers ranked highest overall. However, even if the Department of Veterans Affairs paid for them, patient participants would be unlikely to use them. No significant differences were found across the devices in the perceived likelihood that the device would improve medication adherence. In this article, we provide a set of criteria for patients who might choose such a device and clinicians who may recommend these kinds of devices. More work is needed in the design and deployment of these devices if they are to be part of a successful medication adherence plan.

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