Patients Unable to Tell Doctors Medications They are Taking

Recently published research in a study from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine has found that nearly 50 percent of patients taking antihypertensive drugs in three community health centers were unable to accurately name a single one of their medications listed in their medical chart. That number climbed to 65 percent for patients with low health literacy. The study was published in the November 2007 issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, and looked at 119 patients, average age 55; from community health centers in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Although the study focused on low-income patients, other patients likely have similar trouble recalling the names and dosages of all their medications, particularly those who take a lot of different drugs and the elderly, who may have cognitive limitations. (source: USP Patient Safety CAPSLink e-News, Feb. 2008).