Next Article in Journal
General Public Views, Attitudes, and Experiences toward Drug Safety in Dubai, United Arab Emirates: A Qualitative Approach
Next Article in Special Issue
Current and Potential Roles in Sports Pharmacy: A Systematic Review
Previous Article in Journal
Consultant Pharmacist–Provider Collaboration in U.S. Assisted Living Facilities: A Pilot Study
Previous Article in Special Issue
Polypharmacy and Psychological Distress May Be Associated in African American Adults
Article Menu
Issue 1 (March) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Complexity of Medicine Regimens and Patient Perception of Medicine Burden

Medway School of Pharmacy, Universities of Greenwich and Kent, Chatham Maritime ME4 4TB, Kent, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pharmacy 2019, 7(1), 18;
Received: 2 January 2019 / Revised: 23 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 2 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Burden of Medicines)
PDF [196 KB, uploaded 2 February 2019]


From the patient perspective, medicine burden is more than the number of medicines, or the complexity of medicine regimens they need to manage. Relationships between the number of medicines, regimen complexity and patient perception of medicine burden are under-researched. This cross-sectional study measured regimen complexity and determined how this and patient perceived burden are affected by the therapeutic group. Regimen complexity was measured in patients presenting prescriptions to six community pharmacies in South-East England. A sub-sample (166) also completed the Living with Medicines Questionnaire which measures patient perceived burden. The 492 patients were prescribed 2700 medicines (range 1 to 23). Almost half used at least one non-oral formulation. Complexity was correlated strongly with the number of medicines (r = 0.94), number of therapeutic groups (r = 0.84) and number of formulations (r = 0.73). Patients using medicines for skin, eye and respiratory conditions had the highest complexity scores. Increasing the number of medicines, frequency of dosing, number of non-oral formulations and number of different therapeutic groups all increased medicine burden. Although cardiovascular medicines were the most common medicines used by the majority of patients (60%), those for neurological, psychiatric and gastro-intestinal conditions were most strongly associated with high burden. Studies are required to determine medicine burden in different conditions, especially neurological conditions, including chronic pain. View Full-Text
Keywords: medicine burden; regimen complexity; formulation; patient perception medicine burden; regimen complexity; formulation; patient perception
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Krska, J.; Corlett, S.A.; Katusiime, B. Complexity of Medicine Regimens and Patient Perception of Medicine Burden. Pharmacy 2019, 7, 18.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Pharmacy EISSN 2226-4787 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top