Objective: To examine prescription medication hoarding and borrowing or sharing (PMHBS)
behaviours in aged people, particularly which medications are subject to these behaviours and
the circumstances that enable these behaviours.
Method: A mixed methods triangulation design, using consecutive qualitative (focus groups)
and quantitative (survey) methodologies in a convenience sample of people aged over 65,
living independently in the Illawarra region (NSW).
Results: Focus group participants (n=28) acknowledged PMHBS behaviours were
widespread; however, very few survey respondents (n=226) admitted to engaging in these
behaviours. Main findings in the study were enablers for these behaviours: the prescription
medication is considered the same as that prescribed previously; and self medicating for pain
Conclusions: The prevalence of PMHBS behaviours in this study was low, although it was
acknowledged such behaviours occurred in the wider community. Sharing strong pain
medication and the same prescription medication appeared to be acceptable in this