Designing an e-learning tool to support health practitioners caring for patients taking multiple medications



Hanlon M, Hogan M, Durand H, Pilch M, Harney O, Molloy G & Murphy AW (2021) Designing an e-learning tool to support health practitioners caring for patients taking multiple medications. HRB Open Research, 3, Art. No.: 59.

Background: Population ageing and improvements in healthcare mean the number of people living with two or more chronic conditions, or ‘multimorbidity’, is rapidly increasing. This presents a challenge to current disease-specific care delivery models. Adherence to prescribed medications appears particularly challenging for individuals living with multimorbidity, given the often-complex drug regimens required to treat multiple conditions. Poor adherence is associated with increased mortality, as well as wasted healthcare resources. Supporting medication adherence is a key priority for general practitioners (GPs) and practice nurses as they are responsible for much of the disease counselling and medication prescribing associated with chronic illnesses. Despite this, practical resources and training for health practitioners on how to promote adherence in practice is currently lacking. Informed by the principles of patient and public involvement (PPI), the aim of this research was to develop a patient informed e-learning resource to help GPs and nurses support medication adherence. Method: Utilising collective intelligence (CI) and scenario-based design (SBD) methodology, input was gathered from key stakeholders in medication adherence to gain insights into barriers to supporting people with multimorbidity who are receiving polypharmacy, strategies for overcoming these barriers, and user needs and requirements to inform the design of the e-learning tool. Results: In total, 67 barriers to supporting people who are taking multiple medications were identified across 8 barrier categories. 162 options for overcoming the identified barriers were then generated. This data was used in the design of a flexible e-learning tool for continuous professional development, that has been integrated into general practice and clinical education programmes as a supportive tool. Conclusions: Using CI and SBD methodology was an effective way of facilitating collaboration, idea-generation, and the co-creation of design solutions amongst a diverse group of stakeholders. This approach could be usefully applied to address other complex healthcare-related challenges.

Multimorbidity; Polypharmacy; Adherence; General Practice; PPI; Collective Intelligence Design; E-learning tool

HRB Open Research: Volume 3

FundersHealth Research Board
Publication date30/04/2021
Publication date online30/04/2021
Date accepted by journal06/04/2021
PublisherF1000 Research Ltd

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Dr Hannah Durand
Dr Hannah Durand

Lecturer in Psychology, Psychology