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2001 December Report of the Auditor General of Canada

December 2001 Report—Chapter 9

Exhibit 9.14—A Population Health Fund project

Seniors and safe medication use: A cross-cultural education model

This was a project to better understand misuse of medication among Canadian seniors of different ethnic and cultural origins and to identify practical and effective ways to eliminate the problems. The project developed a culturally sensitive training package.

Through a needs assessment, focus groups, and a literature review, the project identified how culture, aging, and drug interactions can negatively affect health. Some interesting findings identified in the literature review were the following:

  • In addition to prescribed medications, 28 to 40 percent of seniors also use herbal, homeopathic, and over-the-counter preparations.
  • Between 19 and 28 percent of all hospitalizations of people over 50 years old are due to misuse of medication.

The culturally sensitive training package was used to train 91 health and social workers, managers, and community leaders, representing 80 organizations from across Canada.

Since the funding ended the recipient has continued to distribute the package to targeted communities.

Source: Health Canada