Interventions to Improve Suboptimal Prescribing in Nursing Homes: A Narrative Review

Department of Medicine (Geriatrics), School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
The American journal of geriatric pharmacotherapy 06/2010; 8(3):183-200. DOI: 10.1016/j.amjopharm.2010.05.004
Source: PubMed


Appropriate medication prescribing for nursing home residents remains a challenge.
The purpose of this study was to conduct a narrative review of the published literature describing randomized controlled trials that used interventions to improve suboptimal prescribing in nursing homes.
The PubMed, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, and EMBASE databases were searched for articles published in the English language between January 1975 and December 2009, using the terms drug utilization, pharmaceutical services, aged, long-term care, nursing homes, prescribing, geriatrics, and randomized controlled trial. A manual search of the reference lists of identified articles and the authors' files, book chapters, and recent review articles was also conducted. Abstracts and posters from meetings were not included in the search. Studies were included if they: (1) had a randomized controlled design; (2) had a process measure outcome for quality of prescribing or a distal outcome measure for medication-related adverse patient events; and (3) involved nursing home residents.
Eighteen studies met the inclusion criteria for this review. Seven of those studies described educational approaches using various interventions (eg, outreach visits) and measured suboptimal prescribing in different manners (eg, adherence to guidelines). Two studies described computerized decision-support systems to measure the intervention's impact on adverse drug events (ADEs) and appropriate drug orders. Five studies described clinical pharmacist activities, most commonly involving a medication review, and used various measures of suboptimal prescribing, including a measure of medication appropriateness and the total number of medications prescribed. Two studies each described multidisciplinary and multifaceted approaches that included heterogeneous interventions and measures of prescribing. Most (15/18; 83.3%) of these studies reported statistically significant improvements in >or=1 aspect of suboptimal prescribing. Only 3 of the studies reported significant improvements in distal health outcomes, and only 3 measured ADEs or adverse drug reactions. CONCLUSIONs: Mixed results were reported for a variety of approaches used to improve suboptimal prescribing. However, the heterogeneity of the study interventions and the various measures of suboptimal prescribing used in these studies does not allow for an authoritative conclusion based on the currently available literature.

Download full-text


Available from: Zachary Adam Marcum
  • Source
    • "Changing prescribing behaviour such as PIP, is a complex and challenging task. Several strategies have been used to alter prescribing practices with variable results, with no one interventional strategy proving to be consistently effective [2,9-11]. Multifaceted interventions combining a number of techniques within an intervention [10], may be more effective than any one single intervention in altering prescribing as multiple elements can target different aspects of behaviour [2,12,13]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Potentially inappropriate prescribing (PIP) in older people is common in primary care and can result in increased morbidity, adverse drug events, hospitalizations and mortality. The prevalence of PIP in Ireland is estimated at 36% with an associated expenditure of over [euro sign]45 million in 2007. The aim of this paper is to describe the application of the Medical Research Council (MRC) framework to the development of an intervention to decrease PIP in Irish primary care. The MRC framework for the design and evaluation of complex interventions guided the development of the study intervention. In the development stage, literature was reviewed and combined with information obtained from experts in the field using a consensus based methodology and patient cases to define the main components of the intervention. In the pilot stage, five GPs tested the proposed intervention. Qualitative interviews were conducted with the GPs to inform the development and implementation of the intervention for the main randomised controlled trial. The literature review identified PIP criteria for inclusion in the study and two initial intervention components - academic detailing and medicines review supported by therapeutic treatment algorithms. Through patient case studies and a focus group with a group of 8 GPs, these components were refined and a third component of the intervention identified - patient information leaflets. The intervention was tested in a pilot study. In total, eight medicine reviews were conducted across five GP practices. These reviews addressed ten instances of PIP, nine of which were addressed in the form of either a dose reduction or a discontinuation of a targeted medication. Qualitative interviews highlighted that GPs were receptive to the intervention but patient preference and time needed both to prepare for and conduct the medicines review, emerged as potential barriers. Findings from the pilot study allowed further refinement to produce the finalised intervention of academic detailing with a pharmacist, medicines review with web-based therapeutic treatment algorithms and tailored patient information leaflets. The MRC framework was used in the development of the OPTI-SCRIPT intervention to decrease the level of PIP in primary care in Ireland. Its application ensured that the intervention was developed using the best available evidence, was acceptable to GPs and feasible to deliver in the clinical setting. The effectiveness of this intervention is currently being tested in a pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial.Trial registration: Current controlled trials ISRCTN41694007.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · BMC Health Services Research
  • Source
    • "While the usefulness of behaviour change theory in intervention and implementation research has been questioned, [12,13] there is general consensus that interventions are more likely to have an impact when they target all stages of behaviour change [14]. Studies to date have yielded mixed results in terms of which intervention types are most effective in improving prescribing and there is no one interventional strategy that has proved to be most effective [15]. Strategies shown to be effective for improving prescribing outcomes include educational outreach visits (academic detailing) [16] and interventions involving a pharmacist [17]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Potentially inappropriate prescribing in older people is common in primary care and can result in increased morbidity, adverse drug events, hospitalizations and mortality. In Ireland, 36% of those aged 70 years or over received at least one potentially inappropriate medication, with an associated expenditure of over €45 million.The main objective of this study is to determine the effectiveness and acceptability of a complex, multifaceted intervention in reducing the level of potentially inappropriate prescribing in primary care. Methods/design: This study is a pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial, conducted in primary care (OPTI-SCRIPT trial), involving 22 practices (clusters) and 220 patients. Practices will be allocated to intervention or control arms using minimization, with intervention participants receiving a complex multifaceted intervention incorporating academic detailing, medicines review with web-based pharmaceutical treatment algorithms that provide recommended alternative treatment options, and tailored patient information leaflets. Control practices will deliver usual care and receive simple patient-level feedback on potentially inappropriate prescribing. Routinely collected national prescribing data will also be analyzed for nonparticipating practices, acting as a contemporary national control. The primary outcomes are the proportion of participant patients with potentially inappropriate prescribing and the mean number of potentially inappropriate prescriptions per patient. In addition, economic and qualitative evaluations will be conducted. Discussion: This study will establish the effectiveness of a multifaceted intervention in reducing potentially inappropriate prescribing in older people in Irish primary care that is generalizable to countries with similar prescribing challenges. Trial registration: Current controlled trials ISRCTN41694007.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Trials
  • Source
    • "Different approaches to improve prescribing among older patients have been undertaken in several settings. Some studies have shown that the positive contribution of pharmacists can help enhance medication management in polypharmacy and older patients, and can improve patient outcomes.7,15,47 Recently, Gallagher and co-workers have shown significant improvements in prescribing appropriateness by applying the STOPP/START criteria as an intervention process in hospitalized older patients.48 "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aims of this study were to identify potentially inappropriate prescribing using the Beers and STOPP criteria. The START criteria were applied to detect prescription omission in the geriatric population. We compared the utility of these criteria in institutionalised older people. Descriptive study reviewing the medication and clinical records of 81 residents (aged 65 years and more) by pharmacists in a nursing home in the Lleida region (Spain). The mean patients''age was 84 (SD=8) years, with an average of 5 drugs per resident (total prescriptions: 416 medicines). The Beers criteria identified potentially inappropriate medication use in 25% of patients and 48% of patients used at least 1 inappropriate medication according to STOPP criteria. The most frequent potentially inappropriate medications for both criteria were long-acting benzodiazepines and NSAIDs. START detected 58 potential prescribing omissions in 44% of patients. Calcium-vitamin D supplementation in osteoporosis was the most frequent rule (15%), but omissions corresponding to the cardiovascular system implied 23% of patients. The STOPP-START criteria reveal that potentially inappropriate prescribing (PIP) is a highly prevalent problem among Spanish nursing home residents, and a statistically significant positive correlation was found between the number of medicines prescribed and the number of PIP detected in this study. The STOPP criteria detect a larger number of PI medications in this geriatric population than the Beers criteria. The prescribing omissions detected by the START criteria are relevant and require intervention. Pharmacists' review of medications may help identify potentially inappropriate prescribing and, through an interdisciplinary approach, working with physicians may improve prescribing practices among geriatric residents of nursing homes.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2012
Show more