Elders' Nonadherence, Its Assessment, and Computer Assisted Instruction for Medication Recall Training

O. Von Leirer, Daniel G. Morrow, Grace M. Pariante, Javaid I. Sheikh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigates three questions related to the problem of medication nonadherence among elders. First, does recall failure play a significant role in nonadherence? Recent research suggests that it may not. Second, can the new portable bar code scanner technology be used to study nonadherence? Other forms of monitoring are obtrusive or inaccurate. Finally, can inexpensive computer assisted instructions (CAI) be used to teach mnemonic techniques specifically designed to improve medication schedule recall? Current research on memory training teaches nonspecific mnemonics and uses the expensive classroom approach. Results of the present study suggest that physically active and cognitively alert elders do have significant nonadherence (control group = 32.0%) problems related to forgetting and that CAI courseware can significantly reduce (medication recal training group = 10.0%) this form of nonadherence. Portable bar code technology proved easy to use by elderly patients and provided detailed information about the type of forgetting underlying nonadherence. Most significant recall failure was in the complete forgetting to take medication rather than delays in medicating or overmedicating.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)877-884
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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