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Section 4: The Patient Perspective

To prepare this guide, we undertook a series of structured interviews and focus group discussions with older people, carers and people with long term medical conditions. We wanted to understand people's experience of having their medicines reviewed, and how medication review might help them make better use of their medicines.
We have spoken to over forty patients and carers, ranging in age from 50 to nearly 100. The people we spoke to suffered from a broad range of medical conditions and took a wide variety of prescription medicines as well as over-the-counter and "alternative" and complementary remedies. They had experienced notable variations in the quality and consistency of care. Their expectations of the health system and their attitudes to managing their own care also diverged widely. This work was carried out by an experienced qualitative researcher between May and July 2002.