A controlled trial of the effect of a unit dose system of tablet/capsule calendar packaging (Webster-Pak) on the rate of successful self medication both in hospital and after discharge to the community has been completed in a geriatric assessment and rehabilitation unit. Eighty-four elderly patients, 45 using calendar packs (study), and 39 using conventional bottles or packs (control), were followed for three months after discharge. There was a significant improvement in patient compliance in the study group over controls on discharge (86.7% vs 66.7%), 10 days (68.8% vs 41.0%), one month (64.4% vs 38.5%) and three months (48.9% vs 23.1%) after discharge. Unit dose packaging is a cost effective method of improving the delivery of medicine in elderly patients, and should be available as part of the health budget.
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