Background: Upon discharge from the hospital, patients are significantly deficient in their knowledge of their medications. Provision of information has been shown to have an effect on health measures such as compliance to medication therapy, quality of life, and utilization of hospitalization services. Aims: To assess patients' knowledge about their long term medication therapy and to measure the association between knowledge and health service utilization in the community. Methods: A prospective study was performed, with home telephone interviews conducted 1 week and 1 month after discharge. The study population included 130 patients discharged to the community with new prescriptions for long term medications. Results and conclusions: About 60% of the patients reported receiving no counseling regarding their new medication. About 30% utilized 3 or more types of service (family physician, specialist, nurse, etc.). Eighteen percent (18%) visited the ER during the month after discharge, of whom 35% visited twice or more. Higher levels of patient knowledge predicted higher levels of health services utilization (OR = 4.76 95% CI: 1.74-13.06). The younger patients tended to utilize a larger variety of health services compared to the older patients (OR 0.32 95% CI: 0.13-0.79). The results of this study provide that patients with higher levels of knowledge utilized the health care system more often, perhaps indicating greater awareness and self care.
- Acute care
- Discharge planning
- Health services research
- Patient teaching
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing