Cognitive Function and Medication Usage in Older Adults

Denise C. Park, Sherry L. Willis, Dan Morrow, Manfred Diehl, Christine L. Gaines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research is presented from three different cognitive aging laboratories that examines the relationship between cognitive function, age, and the ability to adhere to medication regimens. The first section focuses on the effectiveness of complete, explicit instructions that emphasize the importance of organization of medication information on adherence behaviors for both younger and older adults. The second section examines the role of literal versus inferential medication information in normal elderly and in Alzheimer's patients. This research demonstrates that traditional measures of cognitive functioning are correlated with the comprehension of medication information and medication adherence. Finally, the third section presents an overview of research issues in adherence, including the relative effectiveness of two adherence measurement techniques, as well as a discussion of the effects of illness beliefs on adherence and evidence that adherence is not a global behavior but may vary within the individual as a function of certain medications. Directions for future research are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-57
Number of pages19
JournalThe Journal of Applied Gerontology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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