CJE SeniorLife Research Leads to First-Of-Its-Kind Medication Use Questionnaire for Older Adults

CHICAGO, September 29, 2016 – CJE SeniorLife’s Leonard Schanfield Research Institute (LSRI) recently developed the MedUseQ, a validated 24-question self-administered medication use screener designed for older adults to complete in about 10 minutes. A grant awarded through the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago Breakthrough Fund supported CJE’s unique medication abuse and misuse assessment project.

The MedUseQ is designed for use in a broad range of settings, such as individual counseling, clinical care, pharmacy services, community-based services, and health education programs. As a self-report screener, it is intended to encourage older adults to ask questions of their health care providers, consult with their pharmacists, or seek out help with managing or using their medications. Responses to questions can be used as a starting point for conversations about potential problematic medication use or to identify needs for further discussion, evaluation, or assistance with a problem area.

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An older adult reviews the final self-assessment
screener at an informational event for participants
culminating CJE’s research study.

Developed through a rigorous process called concept mapping, the researchers used qualitative and quantitative methods to focus on the reasons and ways in which older adults may misuse or abuse their medications. CJE’s research team first developed and field tested a 40-item version of the questionnaire with more than 350 adults ages 60 years and older recruited in a variety of settings before adapting it into a shorter 24-item questionnaire for easier readability and quicker completion. The screener was retested with more than 300 older adults, and now takes an average of 10 minutes to complete.

Informed by older adult participants throughout all phases of the study, the screener can detect a broad range of potential medication issues, including intentional and non-intentional medication use behaviors and also underlying beliefs for intentional behaviors, such as reasons for skipping or taking less of a medication. The tool also uses a broad definition of medications—from prescriptions to over-the-counter drugs to alternative products—to help identify a range of associated medication issues.

A downloadable companion piece, Strategies for Managing Your Medications, offers suggestions for addressing problematic medication issues linked to items on the MedUseQ. An instructional guide is also available for clinicians and staff who will be using the MedUseQ in one-on-one or group sessions. For more information on the Leonard Schanfield Research Institute, please visit www.cje.net/research.


Since 1972, CJE SeniorLife has enhanced the lives of older adults and their families through an innovative, comprehensive network that includes life enrichment programs, supportive resources, healthcare, research and education. CJE is a partner with the Jewish United Fund in serving our community. For more information about CJE services, call 773.508.1000 or visit www.cje.net.


Contact: Nicole Bruce
Phone: 773.508.1026
E-Mail: Nicole.Bruce@cje.net