High risk prescribing in older adults: Prevalence, clinical and economic implications and potential for intervention at the population level

BMC Public Health (Impact Factor: 2.26). 02/2013; 13(1):115. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-115
Source: PubMed


High risk prescribing can compromise independent wellbeing and quality of life in older adults. The aims of this project are to determine the prevalence, risk factors, clinical consequences, and costs of high risk prescribing, and to assess the impact of interventions on high risk prescribing in older people.

The proposed project will utilise data from the 45 and Up Study, a large scale cohort of 267,153 men and women aged 45 and over recruited during 2006–2009 from the state of New South Wales, Australia linked to a range of administrative health datasets. High risk prescribing will be assessed using three indicators: polypharmacy (use of five or more medicines); Beers Criteria (an explicit measure of potentially inappropriate medication use); and Drug Burden Index (a pharmacologic dose-dependent measure of cumulative exposure to anticholinergic and sedative medicines). Individual risk factors from the 45 and Up Study questionnaire, and health system characteristics from health datasets that are associated with the likelihood of high risk prescribing will be identified. The main outcome measures will include hospitalisation (first admission to hospital, total days in hospital, cause-specific hospitalisation); admission to institutionalised care; all-cause mortality, and, where possible, cause-specific mortality. Economic costs to the health care system and implications of high risk prescribing will be also investigated. In addition, changes in high risk prescribing will be evaluated in relation to certain routine medicines-related interventions. The statistical analysis will be conducted using standard pharmaco-epidemiological methods including descriptive analysis, univariate and multivariate regression analysis, controlling for relevant confounding factors, using a number of different approaches.

The availability of large-scale data is useful to identify opportunities for improving prescribing, and health in older adults. The size of the 45 and Up Study, along with linkage to health databases provides an important opportunity to investigate the relationship between high risk prescribing and adverse outcomes in a real-world population of older adults.

Download full-text


Available from: Danijela Gnjidic
  • Source
    • "It is important to assess the total number of medications women are taking as well the potential interactions between them. Polypharmacy, the use of multiple medications (> five concomitant medications ), has been linked to adverse clinical outcomes , including increased mortality and risk of harm from adverse reactions and hospitalization (Gnjidic et al., 2013; Hajjar, Cafiero, & Hanlon, 2013). In addition to their primary health care providers, women often have other providers specializing in gynecology, dermatology, endocrinology , and urology. "

    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Journal of Obstetric Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Older people often need comprehensive treatment, including many medications, and polypharmacy is common. The aims of this cross-sectional investigation were to examine the potentially inappropriate medication during the hospitalization and to identify the factors that may influence such inappropriateness among elderly in Italy. A sample of 605 individuals aged 65 years and older admitted in non-academic public acute care hospitals was randomly selected. Prescription of inappropriate medications were evaluated during the period from the day of admission to a randomly preselected day (index day). Beers Criteria were used to evaluate appropriateness. At least one potentially inappropriate medication prescription from the day of hospital admission to the index day has been observed in 188 patients (31.1%), and respectively 84.1% and 15.9% of them had received one or two inappropriate medications. A total of 15 medications was prescribed inappropriately to these 188 patients, for 215 times with a total of 1143 doses. The multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that the significant predictors for having at least one potentially inappropriate medication prescription during the hospitalization were: patients having an elementary education level, a lower pre-admission performance-based measure of basic activities of daily living, having received an inappropriate drug before the hospitalization, a hospital stay in the general and in the specialties surgical wards, a longer length of hospital stay from the admission to the index day, and having received a higher number of drugs from the day of the hospital admission to the index day. The most prevalent inappropriate medications administered were ketorolac (27.4%), amiodarone (19.1%), and clonidine (11.2%). This study supports the need for clinical guidelines implementation to assist physicians in choosing the most appropriate drugs for the elderly and for effective education of all physicians.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · PLoS ONE
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The objectives of the study were to investigate the level of knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding antibiotics of the general population in Italy, and to assess the correlates of these outcomes of interest. A cross-sectional survey was conducted on a random sample of 630 parents of students attending nine randomly selected public primary and secondary schools. A self-administered questionnaire included questions on demographic characteristics, knowledge about antibiotic use and resistance, attitudes and behaviors towards antibiotic use, and sources of information. A total of 419 parents participated. Only 9.8% knew the definition of antibiotic resistance and 21.2% knew when it was appropriate to use antibiotics. Respondents with higher education, employed, with a family member working in the health care sector, and with no need for additional information on antibiotics were more likely to know the definition of antibiotic resistance. One third (32.7%) self-classified them as users of self-medication with antibiotics and those with a lower self-rated health status, who did not use the physician as source of information on antibiotics, and who have attended a physician in the last year were more likely to use self-medication. One-fourth (22.7%) of those who had never been self-medicated would be willing to take an antibiotic without a prescription of a physician. Respondents were more likely to be willing to take antibiotics without a prescription if they were under 40 years of age, if they had a lower self-rated health status, if they did not know that antibiotics are not indicated for treating flu and sore throat, and if they knew that antibiotics are not indicated for treating colds. The survey has generated information about knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding antibiotics in the general population and effective public education initiative should provide practical and appropriate means to change their behavior.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · PLoS ONE
Show more