Date of Completion

Spring 5-12-2013

Thesis Advisor(s)

Patricia J. Neafsey

Honors Major





Aim of study

To survey the self-medication practices of adults with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) using NIH-validated ActualMeds™ Medication Management System via Apple iPad®, in order to improve individual medication management (adherence).

Rationale and Significance

Adults with SCD are a significant population to study when considering self-medication behaviors. Because individuals with SCD are now outgrowing the speciality care of pediatricians, and often find themselves left to manage multiple medications and self-care interventions.

This research is important in understanding medication management, such as high-risk medication adherence behaviors, prescription drug interactions, and over-the-counter drug interactions with prescription drugs in the UCHC patient population of adults living with SCD.


This feasibility study will include 10-20 participants. Adults living with SCD will demonstrate adverse self-medication practices, as recorded on the ActualMeds™ web-based software program, during a single interview. Results of the report generated by ActualMeds™ will be given to the study participant, his/her provider, and included in the medical record. Participants will be contacted 2 weeks after initial interview regarding self-care management follow-up. This will identify the self-medication behaviors of prescription and commonly used over-the-counter (OTC) medications and alcohol among adults with SCD, and assist the research staff to understand their self-care management follow-up.

Findings and Conclusions

Little is known about the self-medication behaviors of adults with SCD; documentation of self-medication practices by ActualMeds™ program, as reported by adults with SCD, will 1) improve individual medication management, 2) reduce adverse medication interactions, and 3) promote adherence.

It is the intention of the researcher to use this study to inform the development of a future study with a larger sample size, begin to appreciate the self-medication practices of adults with SCD, and explore how they impact self-care and health outcomes. Finally, information derived from study findings has the potential to reduce the hospital readmission rate for this vulnerable patient population at the University of Connecticut Health Center.

Included in

Nursing Commons