Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Sue Bell


Polypharmacy, the simultaneous use of multiple drugs to treat a single ailment or condition, is a

major health problem among the elderly population that contributes to adverse drug side events,

health risks, hospital readmissions, morbidity, and mortality. Therefore, a staff education

program geared toward reduction of such adverse drug events was implemented at a single site.

The purpose of the project was to determine if the staff education program would increase

knowledge of adverse drug events due to geriatric polypharmacy. The Orem theory provided the

theoretical support for the project, and the Iowa model guided the evidence-based practice

change process. Topics covered in the education program included medication safety,

appropriate drug usage, medication interactions, and other use issues of commonly prescribed

drugs for elderly patients. Twenty staff members from 1 assisted-living facility were recruited for

the education intervention. Assessments of staff member knowledge were collected before and

after the education intervention. Descriptive statistics were used to compare preintervention and

postintervention knowledge. Scores on the pretest ranged from 10% to 50% correct on the 10

items, and posttest scores ranged from 40% to 70% correct on the same items. The project is

expected to produce social change due to reduced incidence of geriatric polypharmacy and,

ultimately, decreased adverse drug effects resulting in patient morbidity, hospitalization, and