Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson


Physical Therapy; Polypharmacy; Aged


Physical therapists are seeing more and more elderly individuals with acute, chronic, or multiple disease conditions. Many of these conditions are treated with medications. It is common for the geriatric patient to be taking multiple medications. Polypharmacy is a relevant concern for physical therapists as adverse effects are often revealed in the musculoskeletal and central nervous systems. These manifestations can cause adverse effects in evaluation, treatment, and outcomes.

The purpose of this study is to discuss the common non-prescription and prescription medications consumed by the elderly, describe the biologic and physiologic changes that occur with age and how these changes alter medication effects, and to discuss the physical therapist's role in treating geriatric individuals who take multiple medications. The procedure will be a literature review.

The study will lead to increased awareness and knowledge of pharmacology in physical therapy. The information will lead to more effective treatment and education for the patient and family.