International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 131–140 | Cite as

Hassles with medication management perceived by caregivers of adults who have intellectual or developmental disabilities

  • Steven R. EricksonEmail author
  • Yanmen Yang
Research Article


Background Medication management is undertaken by caregivers of people who have intellectual or developmental disabilities. Objective The objectives were to measure the medication management hassles reported by caregivers of adults who have intellectual or developmental disabilities and to describe associations between characteristics of caregivers, medication regimens, and the person with intellectual or developmental disability and the scale score. Setting Web-based survey conducted in the United States. Method A newsletter announcement with a link to the survey was sent to members of a disability advocacy organization. Caregivers were age 18 years and older who manage medications for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. The survey questions were used to obtain characteristics of the caregiver, the medication regimen they managed, and the care-recipient. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of Michigan Medicine (HUM00091002). Main outcome measure The Family Caregiver Medication Administration Hassles Scale (caregiver scale). Results Forty-two caregivers responded, with 41 being female with a mean age of 56.7 years. The mean caregiver scale score was 28.9 (possible range 0–120). Highest scores (greatest hassles) were significantly associated with a greater level of support required by the care-recipient, stronger caregiver beliefs of the necessity of medication and concern about using medications, lack of previous caregiver health-care training, and being an employed caregiver rather than family member. Conclusion Medication management can contribute to caregiver stress. Pharmacists should ensure that caregivers are counseled about medication that they manage, be accessible for questions, and examine medication regimens to reduce polypharmacy and complexity of regimens.


Caregiver Challenges Health literacy Intellectual developmental disability Medication beliefs Medication complexity Medication use process 



The authors would like to acknowledge the Arc for their assistance in distributing the survey and to the Arc members who completed the survey.


This study was conducted without funding.

Conflicts of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to report related to conducting this project or preparing the manuscript.

Ethics approval

This study was approved by the University of Michigan Human Investigations Committee, IRB # HUM00091002.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of PharmacyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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