Research database

This Research Database has been developed by HCPC Europe to create an overview of the available research in the field of patient-friendly and adherence packaging. The database is for all members of HCPC Europe. Members can register as a user to get access to the database. Is your organisation not a member yet? Then please register your organisation as a member or contact our Executive Director Ger Standhardt for more information.


Verpackungen von Tabletten – Eine für alle?

Eine Verpackung soll ein Produkt zunächst umhüllen, um es vor äußeren Einflüssen zu schützen. Des Weiteren transportiert sie Produktinformationen zum Endverbraucher und vermittelt Markenbotschaften sowie einen möglichen Zusatznutzen. Einige Verpackungen enthalten sogar Hilfsmittel zum Entnehmen oder Dosieren des Produkts.

Oft ist das Erscheinungsbild einer Verpackung im Regal entscheidend für Impulskäufe. Allerdings machen es manche Verpackungen dem Endverbraucher schwer, an das Produkt zu gelangen. Besonders bei empfind­lichen Anwendergruppen wie den »Silver Agern«, den Konsumenten in einem fortgeschrittenen Lebensabschnitt, kann dies zur Ablehnung des Produkts führen.


Designing and inclusive pill dispenser

‘Design for the young and you exclude the old; design for the old and you include the young.’ Through targeting weaker users, inclusive design aims to include older people and those with disabilities. This paper tackles the issue of introducing inclusive design practice to degree-level teaching. Through a final-year student project ‘Pillpunch’, it illustrates how a typical total design method (market and user needs, product design specification, conceptual design, embodiment design, detail design) coupled with user involvement throughout the design process produced an inclusive solution for dispensing medication. It concludes that inclusive design starts with a deep understanding of the target users. Inclusivity is achieved through removing or reducing task requirements to accommodate a wider range of user capabilities, whilst maintaining mainstream aesthetics. The method used in the project is typical for undergraduate projects, thus the case study can be utilized by design educators in teaching inclusive design.


Adherence devices in a community sample: How are pillboxes used?

Background: Calendar-packaging devices such as pillboxes (dosettes) and blister packaging are often recommended to seniors, and are commonly used. However, little is known about how they are used. The goal of this project was to investigate how older adults in the community use calendar-packaging adherence devices.

Methods: A mail survey of a community sample was used. Analyses addressed 3 research questions. First, the respondents reported on what type of calendar packaging they used. Second, the characteristics of the individuals who used pillboxes and blister packs were compared. Third, the way in which calendar devices were used by these individuals was described.

Results: Respondents were 135 community-dwelling older adults (mean age ± standard deviation = 73 ± 9 years). The majority of respondents in the survey (75%) used a pillbox at least some of the time, while a smaller number (13%) used blister packs for at least some of their medications. Respondents who used pillboxes were taking more medications than those who did not. Few of the respondents reported using pillboxes in the recommended way. Only 11% of pillbox users used boxes with multiple slots for each day and, while the majority of respondents (93%) filled their pillboxes themselves, most of these individuals (82%) depended solely on their memory for filling the pillbox and only one individual had a second person check the pillbox for errors.

Conclusion: Although pillboxes are often recommended and are widely used, the types of pillboxes chosen and the ways in which they are used may not be optimal to ensure medication adherence.


The impact of modifying a pill dispenser on the efficacy of the medication circuit in nursing homes

Seeking safety and efficacy of medication management in nursing homes require a traceable preparation of medications dispensed in pill organizers by a pharmacist. We conducted a pilot observational study in 2 nursing homes. This first study assesses the operational and economic feasibility of replacing the 28 day mono-drug pill dispenser by the 7 day multi-drug pill dispenser, and the impact of its use on the safety of the medication circuit. In fact, the use of this type of pill dispenser faces many difficulties since all actors that handle medications have to be adapted to the complex needs of nursing homes residents, in particular the necessity to modify therapies that may threaten safety. On the other hand, the over-packaging of medication prepared by the 7 day pill dispenser seems to be feasible. Given the facts as established by this pilot study and their effects on both residents and healthcare providers, more large studies are necessary to support current standardization.