Polypharmacy and hospitalization among older home care patients.

Division of Geriatric Medicine, Saint Louis University Medical School, Missouri 63104, USA.
The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences (Impact Factor: 4.98). 10/2000; 55(10):M554-9. DOI: 10.1093/gerona/55.10.M554
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT One of the major goals of home care is the prevention of hospitalization. The objective of this study was to examine the relation between medication use (number, type, and inappropriateness) and hospitalization among home care patients older than 65 years.
A retrospective chart review of 833 discharged older home care patients was performed. These patients were consecutive discharges from a single home care agency who either (a) returned to independent self-care or care of the family (S/F Care group) or (b) were admitted to the hospital (Hospitalized group). Medication assessment within these two groups included total number of medications (prescription and nonprescription); degree of polypharmacy (percentage of patients taking 5 or more, 7 or more, and 10 or more medications); and prevalence for different types of medications, including different types of inappropriate medications. Inappropriate medications were designated according to a list that was previously developed through a modified Delphi consensus technique by a panel of 13 experts in geriatric pharmacology and has been utilized in other studies. Student's t test was used for continuous variables and chi-square test was used for categorical variables to evaluate for differences between the S/F Care group and the Hospitalized group (p <.05). For comparisons of types of medications, p < .01 was used for significant differences, because of the high number of comparisons made.
Of 833 discharges, 644 (77.3%) returned to self-care or care of the Family (S/F Care group) and 189 (22.7%) were hospitalized. The Hospitalized group, compared with the S/F Care group, was taking a higher number of medications (mean +/- SD: 6.6+/-3.9 vs 5.7+/-3.4, p = .004), and had a higher percentage of patients taking 7 or more medications (46% vs 26%, p = .002) and 10 or more medications (21% vs 10%, p = .005), but not 5 or more medications. Only three types of medications were more commonly used among patients in the Hospitalized group than among patients in the S/F Care group: clonidine (4.2% vs 1.1%, p = .004); mineral supplements (23.8% vs 14.8%, p = .003); and metoclopramide (5.8% vs 2.0%, p = .006). The Hospitalized group had a lower percentage of patients taking inappropriate medications than did the S/F Care group (20% vs 27%, p = .040), but none of the types of inappropriate medications was used more often in either group.
This study shows a relationship between high levels of polypharmacy and hospitalization. Although it cannot be determined from this study whether a higher number of medications was an indicator of sicker patients at risk for hospitalization, or whether a higher number of medications might have directly led to hospitalization, polypharmacy should still be considered a marker for older home care patients for whom prevention of hospitalization is the goal.

1 Follower
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Drug-related problems (DRPs) can reduce the potential clinical benefits of treatment with medicines and waste valuable resources. No previous studies were published to examine the nature and frequency of drug related problems among hospitalized patients in Palestinian hospitals. Methodology: Prospective observational study was conducted to report and record the natural and frequency of drug related problems in two general hospitals. Results: The study included 212 patients, 54.4 % female, with a mean age 62.2 (�10.6 SD). 88% of the patients were reported with one or more DRPs, with an average of 1.9 DRPs per patient were found. The most prevalent DRP was incorrect dosing regimen which was represented by (22.2%), followed by drug-drug interaction (19.4%), drugs need laboratory tests (15.2%). Ceftriaxone, warfarin, enoxapirin and dogixin were the drugs causing most frequent DRPs. The drug groups causing most DRPs were anti-infective agents, anti-thrombotic agents and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents. Once discovered, the majority of DRPs (71.6%) were accepted by the physicians and solved immediately, while 11.5 % of pharmacist advice was not approved. Multiple regression analysis indicated that the number of medications (RR 1.99; 95% CI 1.31-3.76) and the number of medical conditions (RR 1.81; 95% CI 1.11-3.13) independently predicted the number of DRPs. Conclusion: DRPs in general hospitals are frequent, serious and predictable. Most of the problems identified as DRPs by the pharmacists were accepted by the physicians and solved. Pharmacists in the hospital setting are well suited to identify and resolve DRPs.
    07/2012; 7(4):276-81. DOI:10.2174/157488412803305795
  • Source
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Medication for elderly patients is often complex and problematic. Several criteria for classifying inappropriate prescribing exist. In 2010, the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare published the document "Indicators of appropriate drug therapy in the elderly" as a guideline for improving prescribing for the elderly. The aim of this study was to assess trends in the prescription of inappropriate drug therapy in the elderly in Sweden from 2006 to 2013 using national quality indicators for drug treatment. Individual-based data on dispensed prescription drugs for the entire Swedish population aged ≥65 years during eight 3-month periods from 2006 to 2013 were accumulated. The data were extracted from the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register. Eight drug-specific quality indicators were monitored. For the entire population studied (n = 1,828,283 in 2013), six of the eight indicators showed an improvement according to the guidelines; the remaining two indicators (drugs with anticholinergic effects and excessive polypharmacy) remained relatively unchanged. For the subgroup aged 65-74 years, three indicators showed an improvement, four indicators remained relatively unchanged (e.g. propiomazine, and oxazepam) and one showed an undesirable trend (anticholinergic drugs) according to guidelines. For the older group (aged ≥75 years), all indicators except excessive polypharmacy showed improvement. According to the quality indicators used, the extent of inappropriate drug therapy in the elderly decreased from 2006 to 2013 in Sweden. Thus, prescribers appear to be more likely to change their prescribing patterns for the elderly than previously assumed.
    Drugs & Aging 04/2014; 31(5). DOI:10.1007/s40266-014-0165-5 · 2.50 Impact Factor