The development of a test battery to assess the hand-eye functions relevant in predicting easy and accurate tablet subdivision in older people: A pilot study
SourceBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 86, 10, (2020), pp. 1969-1981
Article / Letter to editor
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British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
AIMS: Tablets may be subdivided for dose adaptations or to ease swallowing. The handling is common in older patients but can be difficult and inaccurate. Currently, it is not known which hand-eye functions determine the ability of older people to break tablets by hand and to do so with acceptable ease and accuracy. The aim of this study was to develop a test battery to assess the hand-eye functions relevant in predicting easy and accurate tablet subdivision in older people. METHODS: A mixed methods study was conducted including literature reviews and a pilot experiment. The reviews were conducted in Pubmed, Google Scholar, Dutch journals and professional standards. The first review tried to identify the hand-eye functions relevant to tablet subdivision and the second the associated measuring instruments, testing protocols and normative data. A test battery was empanelled. A pilot experiment was conducted in 30 adult volunteers to optimize and evaluate the test battery. RESULTS: Five domains were considered relevant: hand size, hand strength, flexibility/manual dexterity, vision and coordination. Hand size could best be measured by finger circumference, hand strength by pinch- and grip strength, flexibility by active range of joint motion, manual dexterity (and flexibility, coordination, cognition, vision) by pegboard function, vision by near visual acuity. Older people preferred the use of tablet splitters over hand breaking. CONCLUSION: Easy and accurate tablet subdivision is essential to the good use of medicines. We developed a test battery for older people, but probably of value to all age groups.
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