Patterson et al used the Medication Management Ability Assessment (MMAA) to evaluate a patient's ability to manage multiple medications. This is based on the observation test of Albert et al for managing antiretroviral therapy. The authors are from the University of California San Diego and the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System.

Patient selection: patient with multiple prescriptions


The actual test may vary. The core concept is to give the patient multiple drug containers with the instructions on the label. Each container has some form of fake medication (beans, etc), each colored differently. Patterson et al used 4 test containers, each with different instructions.


Parameter for each prescription:

(1) number of items to dispense as a dose

(2) number of doses in a day

(3) special instructions (with food, fasting, etc)


The total number of pills dispensed should match a target number.


Each step performed correctly is given one point. Alternatively, each deviation from the instructions can be given a point.


As an example, one container might say "give 2 pills 2 times a day with meals". If the patient dispensed 2 doses of 2 pills each and indicated that each dose was to be taken with meals, then 6 points could be awarded as the target score.


There might be several ways to conduct the observation:

(1) a standard test with a fixed number of containers

(2) a test that corresponds to all of a patient's prescriptions

(3) an abbreviated test, where only the most important drugs are represented

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