Background: In this study, we evaluated changes in functioning and caregiver burden in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients after a dosage increase that was made based on pharmacists’ evaluation of AD patients’ behavior in daily life. Methods: Pharmacists used a checklist, a questionnaire, and the Repetitive Saliva Swallowing Test (RSST) to gather data on the daily life of AD patients taking donepezil 5 mg/day and their caregivers. In 27 cases, pharmacists suggested a dosage change to 10 mg/day to AD patients’ physicians. Pharmacists then evaluated these patients for 16 weeks after the increase to determine changes in functional assessment staging, caregiver burden, and swallowing function. Results: During the 16-week study, 20 of the 27 patients showed at least one-stage improvement in relation to the five assessed aspects of daily life (time/place, speech, bathing, dressing, and toileting). The mean score for caregiver burden due to personal strain was significantly lower after the dosage increase than before (5.15±3.76 at baseline; from 3.89±3.42 at week 4 to 3.59±3.90 at week 16; P<0.05), as was the mean score due to role strain (2.19±2.80 at baseline; 1.56±2.64 at week 8; P<0.05). After the dosage increase, the impaired swallowing function that accompanies AD was improved in the patients with swallowing problems, as indicated by a higher mean RSST score (1.22±0.67 at baseline; from 2.78±1.72 at week 4 to 2.78±1.79 at week 16; P<0.05). Conclusion: The dosage increase not only decreased caregiver burden, but also appeared to improve impaired swallowing function. Medication therapy management by pharmacists of AD patients, including the use of a checklist, contributed to the correct use of donepezil and improved quality of life for caregivers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)
- Health Policy