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Pharmacotherapy in the Context of Family for Chronic/Terminal Physical Illness

  • By: Michele A. Faulkner
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Family members often find themselves in the role of caregiver for a chronic medical illness. Pharmacotherapy, or the use of medications for disease treatment, is typically a component of that care. How involved family is in terms of medication administration and monitoring will depend on the severity of the illness, the complexity of the medication regimen, and the amount of autonomy appropriately afforded and retained by the ill family member. The role of family as it pertains to medication will also be affected by the age of the care recipient. Nearly half of older adults in the community take five or more prescription medications, and over-the-counter medications and supplements are often added. Medication-related problems are responsible for a large number of hospital admissions, and inability ...

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