On 10 March, Associate Professor Simon Bell and Dr Janet Sluggett from Monash University’s Centre for Medicine Use and Safety visited Resthaven’s Head Office to discuss a new research project to be funded by Resthaven Incorporated.
The new research will extend previous research funded by the Resthaven Incorporated Dementia Research Award through Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation, and conducted by Monash University researchers and staff from Resthaven across six Resthaven residential services. It set out to investigate whether there was an association between taking nine or more regular medications and admission to hospital, investigating residents’ time to first hospitalisation, the number of hospitalisations, and the number of days spent in hospital over a 12-month period.
It found that residents taking nine or more medications have an 89 per cent higher risk of hospitalisation than those who take less than nine medications, even after accounting for residents’ age and medical conditions.
The additional funds will allow extended research into the patterns of medication use that precede hospitalisations, and aims to identify any opportunities to avoid hospitalisation. This new longitudinal research will inform strategies to promote the quality use of medications in the aged care setting.
The initial study, ‘Polypharmacy and Medication Regimen Complexity as Risk Factors for Hospitalisation Among Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities’, was conducted by a multidisciplinary team, including Associate Professor Simon Bell, Dr Janet Sluggett and Samantha Lalic from Monash University’s Centre for Medicine Use and Safety and Tina Cooper (formerly Emery), Executive Manager Residential Services, and Leonie Robson, Senior Manager Clinical Services from Resthaven.
Simon and Janet met with Tina and Leonie, along with Resthaven Clinical Services Coordinator, Terry Shortt, to discuss the next stage of the research, made possible by Resthaven.
Resthaven supports such research that has benefits for older people and their carers as part of the organisation’s commitment to corporate social responsibility and giving back to the community.