Medication use among black and white caregivers of older male veterans with dementia.
BACKGROUND:Few studies have examined racial differences in medication use among informal caregivers of elderly individuals with progressive dementia. It is important to identify racial disparities in medication use so that these differences can be corrected. OBJECTIVE:The purpose of the current study was (1) to evaluate whether black caregivers were less likely to be taking medication than white caregivers after controlling for specific factors and (2) to examine the relationship between caregiver race and other predisposing, enabling, and need factors, and the use of specific categories of medications. METHODS:A secondary analysis of data was conducted from a national survey of 2032 black and white female caregivers of elderly male US veterans with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or vascular dementia. Caregiver use of specific medications was classified according to the Veterans Affairs medication classification system. The Andersen Behavioral Model of Health Services Use provided a framework for multivariate models predicting racial differences in any medication use and use of specific categories of medications. RESULTS:Black caregivers were significantly less likely to use any medication than white caregivers (adjusted odds ratio [OR]=0.42; 95% CI=0.31-0.57). These differences persisted even after controlling for other predisposing, enabling, and need factors, and for outpatient doctor visits. Black caregivers were significantly less likely than white caregivers to be taking endocrine/metabolic medications (adjusted OR=0.57; 95% CI=0.42-0.77) and central nervous system medications (adjusted OR=0.57; 95% CI=0.39-0.83). CONCLUSION:The results of this analysis suggest that significant racial differences in medication use exist among informal caregivers providing care for elderly male US veterans with progressive dementia.
Sleath, B; Thorpe, J; Landerman, LR; Doyle, M; Clipp, E
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