JL424. The Interrelationship of Polypharmacy on Functional Status and Quality of Life in the Elderly Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Patient
Patricia Karwan, DNP, APRN-BC, Care New England/Women and Infant Hospital, Providence, RI
Objective: The purpose of this descriptive correlational study was to examine how the number of medications taken on a daily basis by elderly Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) patients is related to their functional status and quality of life. No previous studies have been identified that have explored the relationship between polypharmacy, quality of life, and functional status in CLL patients. Sample/Method: Sixty four elderly CLL patients in Rhode island completed a one time, descriptive, survey. This study examined five key areas related to these variables: (a) demographic characteristics of elderly CLL patients, (b) level of functional status in elderly patients with CLL, (c) level of quality of life of elderly patients with CLL, (d) the relationship of functional status and quality of life of elderly CLL patients and finally, (e) the relationship between quality of life and functional status grouped by the number of medications. Functional status was measured using the Lawton IADL scale. Quality of life was measured using the Quality Life Scale. Demographic information was collected with a 7-item survey. Statistical testing was done to analyze the demographic data and determine if any relationships were found among the variables. Results: There were significant and positive relationships in the two medication groups, demonstrated by the results. In the group where patients were taking 3-5 medications, the functional status scores were associated with higher quality of life scores. Functional status explained a 45% variance on the quality of life. The last group of patients taking more than 5 medications had a similar positive relationship where the higher functional status scores were associated with a better quality of life score. Conclusion: Overall, while the results were positive and significant, it appears that medications do affect the functional status and the quality of life in elderly CLL patients. There was a statistical significance and positive relationship with patients taking 3-5 medications, and patients taking greater than 5 medications. Functional status scores were associated with higher quality of life. Implication: This research study will contribute to the limited existing knowledge about the complex interactive effects of polypharmacy on the functional status and quality of life in the elderly CLL patients. Advance practice nurses in the oncology field are in a unique position to offer suggestions and to help manage symptoms, assess quality of life and functional status in the above patients. Early assessment of the patient functional baseline leads to better patient care.
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