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Medications help control diabetes and prevent complications. However, clients may stop taking their medications for a variety of different reasons. For example, the meds may have not arrived, they got lost, the client thought they were to be taken only once rather than on an on-going basis, the client had side effects, or the client stopped them because they didn’t think they were important. It is important that problems with medications be identified early so that they can be addressed.

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The CHW’s role will be to collect information about whether or not a client is taking his or her medications. You will notify the doctor or nurse about any problems so they can take further action.

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1. Tell client that you will be reviewing their medications/blister pack.

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2. Ask the client to see their medications/blister pack.

“If you brought your medications or blister pack, may I review it with you?”

3. Review the medications or blister pack if available. Check to see if there are some bubbles in blister pack that should have been popped but weren’t.

4. If medications are not being taken, or taken only sometimes but not as often as recommended, explore reasons.

If: Client is not taking medications at all: “It looks like you haven’t been taking your medications regularly. Can I ask you if there is anything that is preventing you from taking them? Is there anything we can help you with?”

“Do you ever have problems receiving your medication?”

Client is taking medications, but not as frequently as recommended: “Thanks for taking your medications on most days. That’s very helpful. Do you think you could take them every day? Is there anything we can help with?”

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5. If problems with medications (lost, didn’t arrive, client forgot), record on log sheet.

6. Ask the client if they are having any side effects from their medications.

7. Record the side effects on log sheet.

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8. Notify nurse if client has not been taking medications as directed.

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Download or use this online CHW sample form to practice the contents of this module.

Please note that these training modules are to be used for the purposes of CHW training in diabetes management. CHWConnect does not provide medical advice or specific diagnostic or treatment information.