Date of Conferral







Reba Glidewell


With many individuals experiencing multimorbidity, individuals are being prescribed more medications. Although there are benefits to taking medications to manage symptoms and treat disease processes, there are also risks to taking multiple medications. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore participants' understanding of the risks associated with practicing polypharmacy. Game theory, credibility theory, and belief bias were the conceptual frameworks used to explain how individuals experienced their care and being prescribed 5 or more medications. Eight participants residing in subsidized housing in a small Midwest city, who were taking 5 or more medications volunteered to take part in semi-structured interviews answering a series of 10 questions. Phenomenological analysis was used to organize the data and to assist with the development of themes regarding the nature of the participants' lived experiences. According to study findings, 7 out of 8 participants stated that they trusted their providers and that their providers used a more directive approach to prescribing medications instead of offering choices to the participants. In addition, participants lacked knowledge of the risks associated with taking all medications collectively, indicating that more education is needed for individuals. Results of the study may be used in both provider training and patient training to stimulate social change that may improve provider patient communication, increase understanding of provider patient interactions, elicit positive patient outcomes by providing knowledge of awareness, communication, and interaction styles, which play a role in patient outcomes.