Capstone: The Building Blocks of a Successful Project- Research

Now that I have decided on a topic for my senior Capstone project (drug take-back program) entitled The Great Take-Back Initiative, I can finally start the process of research! My search begins with an article published in the Journal of American Pharmacists Association in May of 2014.

“Patient participation in a clinic-based community pharmacy medication take-back program”

 This study focuses on gathering information on peoples’ interests and participation in a drug take-back program. To do this, the scientists partnered with a pharmacy in a family medicine clinic located inside the University if Oklahoma Health Sciences Center to administer needs assessment surveys regarding interest in a drug take-back program. After this preliminary research the pharmacy started offering paid-postage envelopes to patients at a low cost. Those patients that purchased an envelope were asked to complete a survey detailing which kinds of medications were being sent back, their concerns and general knowledge about drug disposal, and the reasons for participating. Those who sent in medications and filled out surveys were contacted later for a follow-up by telephone.


Out of 62 participants, the majority were black or white women around the age of 45. This survey concluded while most people know that medications have expiration dates many were unsure of which kinds of medication they had in their homes and if the medications were expired or not. It also showed a lack of knowledge in how to properly dispose of expired medication with 53% of participants throwing medication in the garbage, 29% flushing them down the toilet, and 18% simply storing them at home.

This study reveals some potential concerns I could encounter when attempting to organize my own drug take-back program.

  1. People are most likely not willing to pay to take part in such a program
  2. People have very limited knowledge about how to properly dispose of medication
  3. Making people see the importance of proper drug disposal is key
  4. Location is important (perhaps hold it at several locations)

Reading this study definitely gave me some ideas on where to start such a project. Learning from other people’s examples can help make my drug take-back that much more successful.

If you would like to read more on this study, the citation will be posted below. Stay tuned for the rest of my journey through the last big project of my undergraduate degree! Thanks Capstone.


Lystlund, S., Stevens, E., Planas, L. G., & Marcy, T. R. (2014). Patient participation in a clinic-based community pharmacy medication take-back program. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, 54(3), 280-284.


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