Self-medication practices of Spanish-speaking older adults in Hartford, Connecticut

Patricia J. Neafsey, Olga Jarrin Montaner, Surheil Luciano, Maren J. Coffman

Publication Date: 12/01/2007

The self-medication practices of Spanish-speaking older adults in Hartford, Connecticut, are documented. A previously validated English self-medication practices survey was systematically translated into Spanish, pilot tested, and verbally administered via face-to-face interviews to 100 Spanish-speaking participants. Participants were recruited from five senior congregate housing sites. Eligibility criteria were age 60 and over, diagnosis of hypertension and/or diabetes, and independent physical and cognitive functioning. Descriptive data are presented, including demographics, use of prescription and nonprescription medications, reasons for self-medication choices, purchase sources, and frequencies of potentially adverse self-medication practices. Participants were predominantly (93%) from Puerto Rico. Mean acculturation scores and education levels were low. Half the participants reported at least one adverse self-medication practice, and 24% reported at least two. The data support the need for an educational intervention targeted to older Hispanics to reduce adverse self-medication practices.