Improving medication knowledge among older adults with heart failure: A patient-centered approach to instruction design

Daniel G. Morrow, Michael Weiner, James Young, Douglas Steinley, Melissa Deer, Michael D. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Scopus citations


Purpose: We investigated whether patient-centered instructions for chronic heart failure medications increase comprehension and memory for medication information in older adults diagnosed with chronic heart failure. Design and Methods: Patient-centered instructions for familiar and unfamiliar medications were compared with instructions for the same medications from a chain pharmacy (standard pharmacy instructions). Thirty-two adults (age, M = 63.8) read and answered questions about each instruction, recalled medication information (free recall), and then answered questions from memory (cued recall). Results: Patient-centered instructions were better recalled and understood more quickly than the standard instructions. Instructions for the familiar medications also were better recalled. Patient-centered instructions were understood more accurately for the unfamiliar medications, but standard instructions were understood more accurately for the familiar medications. However, the recall measures showed that the advantage of the standard format for familiar medications was short lived. Implications: The findings suggest that the patientcentered format may improve printed medication instructions available in many pharmacies, which should help older adults to better understand how to take their medications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545-552
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2005



  • Adherence
  • Health literacy
  • Medication instructions
  • Memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging

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