anticholinergic burden, geriatrics, health transition, heart failure, medication therapy regimen



  1. Knecht, Janet G. PhD, RN
  2. Neafsey, Patricia J. PhD (Pharmacology)


Background: Although prescription medication adherence has been studied in the population living with heart failure (HF), little attention has focused on the patient's overall medication practices including over-the-counter medications. Patients with HF live with the certainty that their quality of life depends on the proper management of multiple medications. Failure to properly manage prescription medications increases the risk of exacerbation of HF and increased rates of rehospitalization.


Objectives: The aim of the quantitative component of this study was to identify medication practices in patients with HF. The aim of the qualitative component was to identify themes of patients with high and low HF medication self-efficacy.


Methods: A convergent parallel mixed-methods design was followed. Quantitative interviews were conducted by telephone with 41 patients living with HF around their medication-taking and lifestyle behaviors. Immediately thereafter, qualitative interviews were conducted to elicit the patient's perspective of their therapeutic regimen.


Results: Patients are prescribed medications not recommended for the gerontologic population and/or risk anticholinergic burden. Although highly confident, patients admit to a plethora of errors.


Conclusion: Future study is required to ensure safe transitions to home and enhance technology to provide seamless communication between patients and providers.