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PA500425: Managing polypharmacy and multimorbidity

[Page last updated: 03 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology
Credits: 15 CATS credits
Notional Study Hours: 150
Level: FHEQ level 7
Modular (no specific semester)
Assessment Summary: CW 25%, PF 75%
Assessment Detail:
  • CARE Tool (PF 25%)
  • Medicines Optimisation Tool (PF 50%)
  • Enhanced Skills Project (CW 25%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Learning Outcomes:
* Explain the different types of adverse drug reactions and drug interactions and apply this knowledge to minimise risks associated with polypharmacy.
* Discuss the co-morbidities, patient factors and drugs likely to increase the risk of adverse drug reactions and how to minimise these risks through appropriate monitoring or review.
* Critically evaluate the currently available screening tools and resources for managing the risks associated with polypharmacy.
* Demonstrate a systematic approach to medication reviews of patients with multiple co-morbidities and polypharmacy.
* Demonstrate good communication and patient centred consultation skills to approach the ethical decisions regarding de-prescribing, engaging the patient in shared decision-making about their health.
* Identify times of high risk in patient care and apply clinical reasoning, professional judgement and leadership within the multidisciplinary team to improve patient outcomes.

Aims: To update knowledge on polypharmacy and multimorbidity and reduce associated risks such as adverse drug reactions.
To appraise the tools available to manage polypharmacy to reduce risk and adverse outcomes such as avoidable hospital admissions.
Develop consultation skills to consider the ethical challenges of de-prescribing.
To enable pharmacists to apply medicinesoptimisationto support patients on multiple medicines.

Skills: Study skills
Basic clinical examination skills
Consultation skills
Communication skills
Written communication
Problem solving
Working with others
Handling information
Leadership skills - influencing skills, challenging inappropriate prescribing
Planning and organisation
Improving learning and performance
Scientific and practical skills
Reflective practice
Information & communication technology

* Defining polypharmacy and multimorbidity
* Adverse drug reactions and interactions
* Reducing hospital admissions
* Identification of high risk patients and high risk drugs - multiple co-morbidities
* Falls risk
* Tools for managing polypharmacy
* De-prescribing - difficult discussions and ethical decisions
* Transfer of Care - a high risk time
* Pharmacy services to support medicines optimisation in polypharmacy - medicines review and medicines reconciliation
* Evidence-based polypharmacy
* Managing care home medicines optimisation
* Communication challenges
* Care plans.

Programme availability:

PA500425 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
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