"Nothing to fool around with": seniors' experiences with medications.




Vegsund, Britt

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With little research documenting elderly medication users’ beliefs and attitudes towards medication, the purpose of this study is to document how seniors experience medication use within the context of their daily lives. The study population was comprised of female and male seniors aged 65 and over who were recruited from the Parksville – Qualicum Beach and Nanaimo communities of eastern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The findings of this research suggest that for seniors, medication use is a complex and emotionally charged experience. It is an experience filled with contradictions, in which seniors are forced to negotiate between diverse realms of information concerning medications, from the directives they receive from health care professionals, to the signals they receive from their bodies. It is an experience in which powerful conceptions of medications as prolongers of life often trump an individual’s overwhelming desire to stop taking those medications. This research is intended to expand our understandings of the perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs that inform Canadian seniors’ medication use practices. Furthermore, findings from this thesis will contribute to a collaborative investigation of seniors’ experiences with medication designed to address the increasing number of adverse drug reactions experienced by the elderly.



Seniors, Medications, Adverse Drug Reactions, Lived-Experience