International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 107–118 | Cite as

An exploration of health professionals’ experiences of medicines management in elderly, hospitalised patients in Abu Dhabi

  • Saeed Al Shemeili
  • Susan Klein
  • Alison Strath
  • Saleh Fares
  • Derek StewartEmail author
Research Article


Background Given the multiplicity of issues relating to medicines in the elderly, the structures and processes of medicines management should be clearly defined and described to optimise patient outcomes. There is a paucity of research which provides an in-depth exploration of these elements of medicines management for elderly patients. Objectives This study explored health professionals’ experiences of medicines management for elderly, hospitalised patients in Abu Dhabi. Setting The research was conducted in five major hospitals in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates. Method Responses to an online sampling questionnaire were used to purposively select nurses, pharmacists and physicians for interview. A semi-structured interview schedule was developed with reference to normalization process theory (NPT) and the theoretical domains framework (TDF) to explore issues of medicines management structures, processes and outcomes. Face-to-face interviews of 20–30 min were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using the Framework Approach. Main outcome measures Health professionals’ in-depth experiences of structures, processes and outcomes relating to medicines management. Results Saturation of themes was deemed to occur at interview 27 (7 nurses, 13 pharmacists, 7 physicians). Six key themes and several subthemes emerged from the qualitative analysis, which pertained to the need for: appropriate polypharmacy; a systematic approach to medicines history taking; improved communication and documentation; improved patients’ adherence to medicines; guidelines and policies to support medicines selection, and an educated and trained multidisciplinary team. The most dominant TDF behavioural determinants were issues around: professional role and identity; beliefs about capabilities; beliefs about consequences; environmental context and resources; knowledge, and goals. NPT construct identified little evidence of coherence, cognitive participation, collective action and reflexive monitoring. Conclusion The key themes identified in this research indicate the need to develop a more structured approach to medicines management in elderly hospitalised patients in Abu Dhabi. The NPT constructs and the TDF behavioural determinants can be utilised as part of service development and implementing change.


Abu Dhabi Interviews Normalization process theory Qualitative Theoretical domains framework 



We acknowledge the participation of all interviewees.


Funding was provided by Embassy of the United Arab Emirates.

Conflicts of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saeed Al Shemeili
    • 1
  • Susan Klein
    • 1
  • Alison Strath
    • 2
  • Saleh Fares
    • 3
  • Derek Stewart
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute for Health and Wellbeing ResearchRobert Gordon UniversityAberdeenUK
  2. 2.School of Pharmacy and Life SciencesRobert Gordon UniversityAberdeenUK
  3. 3.Zayed Military HospitalAbu DhabiUAE

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