DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-ethnography.
DATA SOURCES: Medline, CINAHL, Embase and PsycINFO databases (literature searched until May 2015, published studies ranged from 1996 to 2015).
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Primary qualitative studies focused on adult community-dwelling stroke survivors' and/or informal caregivers' experiences of primary care and/or community healthcare services.
DATA SYNTHESIS: A set of common second order constructs (original authors' interpretations of participants' experiences) were identified across the studies and used to develop a novel integrative account of the data (third order constructs). Study quality was assessed using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme checklist. Relevance was assessed using Dixon-Woods' criteria.
RESULTS: 51 studies (including 168 stroke survivors and 328 caregivers) were synthesised. We developed three inter-dependent third order constructs: (1) marginalisation of stroke survivors and caregivers by healthcare services, (2) passivity versus proactivity in the relationship between health services and the patient/caregiver dyad, and (3) fluidity of stroke related needs for both patient and caregiver. Issues of continuity of care, limitations in access to services and inadequate information provision drove perceptions of marginalisation and passivity of services for both patients and caregivers. Fluidity was apparent through changing information needs and psychological adaptation to living with long-term consequences of stroke.
LIMITATIONS: Potential limitations of qualitative research such as limited generalisability and inability to provide firm answers are offset by the consistency of the findings across a range of countries and healthcare systems.
CONCLUSIONS: Stroke survivors and caregivers feel abandoned because they have become marginalised by services and they do not have the knowledge or skills to re-engage. This can be addressed by: (1) increasing stroke specific health literacy by targeted and timely information provision, and (2) improving continuity of care between specialist and generalist services.
SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION NUMBER: PROSPERO 2015:CRD42015026602.
METHODS: We used data from The National Medical Care Survey (NMCS), a national cross-sectional survey of patients' visits to primary care clinics in Malaysia. A weighted total of 22,832 encounters of patients aged ≥65 years were analysed. Polypharmacy was defined as concomitant use of five medications and above. Multilevel logistic regression was performed to examine the association of polypharmacy with patient, prescriber and practice characteristics.
RESULTS: A total of 20.3% of the older primary care attenders experienced polypharmacy (26.7%% in public and 11.0% in private practice). The adjusted odds ratio (OR) of polypharmacy were 6.37 times greater in public practices. Polypharmacy was associated with patients of female gender (OR 1.49), primary education level (OR 1.61) and multimorbidity (OR 14.21). The variation in rate of polypharmacy was mainly found at prescriber level.
CONCLUSION: Polypharmacy is common among older persons visiting primary care practices. Given the possible adverse outcomes, interventions to reduce the burden of polypharmacy are best to be directed at individual prescribers.