Improving the Uptake of the Australian Home Medicines Review through Patient Segmentation

26 May 2014

The Australian Home Medicines Review (HMR) Program, aimed at reducing the number of medication-related problems and hospital admissions, has not been used to the extent projected and is little known among eligible consumers. PURPOSE: This paper investigates the problems patients and caregivers have with using medicines appropriately, their desire for assistance with managing medications and their self-perceived need for a Home Medicines Review. DESIGN: A qualitative research study was conducted with 8 semi-structured focus groups including a total of 50 HMR-eligible patients and caregivers. Participants who were purposively sampled represented older males, older females, younger chronically ill patients, patients from Chinese and Arabic backgrounds and the general HMR target group. FINDINGS: According to the types of medicine problems encountered by participants, their level of medicine understanding and their desire for assistance with using medicines, four distinct patient types are identified and explicated: the heedless patient, the aware patient, the scrupulous patient and the self-sufficient patient. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: The uptake of the HMR service can be effectively increased by direct-to-consumer HMR promotion that is tailored to the behaviors, needs and desires of eligible patients and caregivers. The proposed segmentation model of HMR-eligible consumers addresses these differences and can be used to inform health policy makers regarding a more effective promotion of the HMR service. ORIGINALITY: This is the first study to investigate how the HMR-uptake could be increased from the perspective of eligible patients and their caregivers.