The Objectives of this study were to investigate family participation in
supporting drug use for Thai elderly with chronic diseases and to create a
handbook for families who are assisting in treatment of Thai elderly with chronic
Key informants are elderly's family, where the elder has at least one
chronic disease, in lower northern areas. The key informants are composed of
two main groups; the elderly with a chronic disease and their family members.
Purposive sampling and in-depth interview with interview guide were used for the
study. Data collection and content analysis were conducted from early in
October, 2013 until late in June, 2014. Data saturation was achieved with 50
cases. The results from this part were employed to make a handbook for families
who are assisting in treatment of Thai elderly with chronic diseases. The
handbook was reviewed by three specialists. After editing, the handbook was
evaluated by those families. Frequency, mean and standard deviation were
employed for analysis in this part.
The results showed that there were nine types of family participation
in supporting drug use. Those were 1) taking the elderly to see their physicians,
2) travelling to get medicine for the elderly, 3) tracking physician's appointments,
4) assisting with correct drug use, 5) assisting with appropriate diet, 6) maintaining
correct medication schedule, 7) preparing drugs for each meal, 8) monitoring
symptoms of drug use, and 9) building both self-esteem and esteem in others.
Several obstacles to good support were identified. They are
employment outside the family, misunderstandings between family members
and the elderly about the capabilities/self-support of the elderly, lack of
knowledge about chronic diseases and drug use in the elderly and weak family
relationships. In terms of handbook evaluation, the families had a good level of
satisfaction in every item evaluated.