Use of Multicompartment Compliance Aids for Elderly Patients: Patient Viewpoints and Hospital Length of Stay Academic Article uri icon


  • To explore elderly (aged > or = 75 years) patients' views regarding the use of multicompartment compliance aids (MCAs) and determine whether MCAs would prolong their length of hospital stay.A cross-sectional, prospective study in 3 acute geriatric wards in a district general hospital in the United Kingdom. Patients admitted to the hospital who were found to be users of MCAs were interviewed about their perception of MCAs, and their length of hospital stay was monitored.A total of 1080 older patients were admitted over a 3-month period. Only 51 (4.7%) patients were users of MCAs and constituted the study group. The majority (51%) of MCAs were requested by general practitioners. Eight (16%) patients were asked whether they wished to use the MCAs and 3 (6%) had formal assessment prior to MCA start. On the patients' survey, 18 (35%) patients did not prefer the MCA if they were given the choice. This group of patients had better cognitive function assessed by the Mini-Mental State Examination (24.4 [3.6] vs 21.8 [3.6]; P = 0.02) and were less dependent on social services (39% vs 67%; P = 0.04) in comparison with patients who did prefer the MCA. They expressed a greater lack of autonomy (94% vs 52%; P = 0.002) and decision making (78% vs 49%; P = 0.04). They tended to be more informed about their medications' names (44% vs 6%; P = 0.01), indications (28% vs 9%; P = 0.02), and self-administration of medications (89% vs 39%; P = 0.01). Multicompartment compliance aids resulted in delayed discharges of 40 (78%) patients, with a mean of 1.3 days (standard deviation, 0.9 days; range, 0-3 days per patient) and a total of 65 days.The use of MCAs resulted in a lack of autonomy and decision making in older patients and a significant delay of discharges, thereby increasing hospital costs.

publication date

  • July 2010