The effects of age-related changes in color vision on the ability of older adults to properly take medication
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences Honors Theses; 2008
Background: Prescription compliance is a complex issue, affected by physical, psychological, and emotional factors. Changes in color vision due to the normal aging process are an aspect of declining physical functioning that has not been addressed in relation to prescription compliance. Objective: To establish a relationship between medication selection and color vision loss in older adults. Methods: This study with healthy younger adults, age 18-26, used a pair of yellow-lens glasses and colored beads to simulate medication selection in older adults compared with a control group of similarly aged adults not wearing the lenses. Medication selection was quantified by correct bead selection and complexity of challenge was determined by a difficulty rating. Results: Participants with the yellow-lens glasses were only able to select the correct color of bead 74.4% of the time compared to 100% for the control group. The experimental group also expressed more difficulty with the task giving it a difficulty rating of 4.02 out of 5 compared to 1.04 out of 5 in the control group. Conclusions: This study concluded that older persons were more likely to have difficulty selecting their medications based on color which has implications for non-compliance. They are also more likely to experience frustration with their medication therapy due to color vision changes.
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