Nurse Educator M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Clark, Connie


Background: The overuse of medications is of concern among the geriatric population, especially in various settings including in-home and community-based (assisted living and independent living). This review found that older individuals take nine or more medications daily. The overuse of medications has an increased tendency to cause problems for older patients and creates adverse consequences. The adverse consequences cause problems and injuries, such as broken bones, head trauma, and death. Purpose: The purpose of this critical review of the literature is to investigate the issues related to the overuse of medication in the geriatric population and the negative impact of this crucial issue on their quality of life. Results: The review of literature includes 13 articles analyzed using the Johns Hopkins Nursing Evidenced-Based Practice Model. The Health Belief Model (HBM) was used as a framework for critical review of the literature. The findings identified the prevalent overuse of medications in the geriatric population. The review found a variety of factors related to the overuse of medications including medical provider related issues, lack of medication knowledge, physical and social constraints, cognitive impairment issues, and medication noncompliance. Conclusion: The literature reviewed revealed that many older adults have multiple chronic conditions and mediation are an essential part of their everyday existence. However, a significant number of older adults have difficulty managing their medication appropriately. It is vital for nurses and the healthcare system to provide educational resources and simplification strategies of medication management for the elderly individual, but most importantly reduction of the number of medications prescribed to elderly population. Implications/Recommendations: Nurses and all healthcare professionals play an important role in helping older adults manage their medications. When older adults correctly manage medications, their health and well-being are more likely to remain stable, which allows for a fulfilled life and maintained independence. Additional research needs to be done to further study overuse of medication in the geriatric population, and nurses should continue to collaborate with other disciplines to adapt and test current interventions related to overuse of medication. The nursing profession as a whole should strive to make reduction of medication overuse a top priority, in practice and evidenced-based research to promote a healthier environment for older adults.

Degree Name

M.S. Nurse Educator

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis

Included in

Nursing Commons