Research grant awarded to RPH professor and team

Photograph of Associate Professor Chris Etherton-Beer
Associate Professor Chris Etherton-Beer.
November 6, 2017

Congratulations to Associate Professor Chris Etherton-Beer and his team for winning a grant for research into medication management for people living with dementia.

A/Professor Etherton-Beer and his team identified that dementia frequently coexists with other chronic conditions. This poses a challenge in the optimisation of medication usage where multiple health conditions need to be managed in conjunction with dementia.

“For these individuals suboptimal pharmacological management could exacerbate the rate of functional decline of people with dementia (PWD),” A/Professor Etherton-Beer said.

“There is sparse guidance relating to managing medications to treat other chronic conditions for people living with dementia. To address this gap we developed the Medication Appropriateness Tool for Comorbid Health conditions in Dementia (MATCH-D) criteria.”

The study has been designed to determine to what extent improved medication management produces better health and functional outcomes for PWD.

“Too many people with diseases such as dementia take medicines that may be causing harm, or are not using their medicines in the best possible way,” A/Professor Etherton-Beer said. “In this project we are aiming to improve the health of people living with dementia by optimising their medicines.”

“In addition, through proper medication management we hope to also be able to reduce the number of presentations to hospital caused by the conflicting effects of multiple medications.”

A/Professor Etherton-Beer said it was a great privilege to be able to run world-class research at Royal Perth Hospital.

“Without these competitive grant programs our research would be at risk of grinding to a halt. We have previously researched quality of life of people living with dementia, and improving use of medicines, in separate projects. It will be great to unite these two strands of research.”