Background A study to explore the rate of potentially inappropriate prescribing (PIP) in elderly fallers, and the impact of pharmacist-led medicines reviews was undertaken. Data relating to possible predictors of PIP, identified in the literature, were also collected.
Purpose To investigate the following factors as predictors of PIP in elderly fallers:
Materials and Methods The following data were collected as part of a larger study:
Demographic data: age, gender and days since admission at time of fall
Number of regular medicines
Name and class of PIMs identified
Sixty patients were included in this study, 34 (56.7%) of whom were male.
The median age was 79 years (range: 29). Patients were taking a median of 9 regular drugs (range: 17). Twenty-one (35%) patients were prescribed ≥1 PIM at the time of their fall.
Gender was not a predictor of PIP, with 13 male and 8 female patients prescribed ≥1 PIM (P = 0.548).
Excessive polypharmacy (≥10 medications) was identified as a positive predictor of PIP. Participants prescribed ≥1 PIM were taking a mean of 10.86 regular medicines; those not prescribed ≥1 PIM were taking a mean of 7.67 regular medicines (p < 0.001).
A drug from each class in section H of the STOPP criteria was identified at least once. Benzodiazepines were the most frequently prescribed PIM drug class, accounting for 59% of PIMs overall. Six patients in the baseline group and 7 in the intervention study were prescribed a benzodiazepine. The most commonly prescribed PIM was temazepam.
Conclusions Polypharmacy is a predictor of PIP. Patients prescribed ≥1 PIM were taking on average 3 more regular medicines than those who were not prescribed ≥1 PIM (p < 0.001). Gender was not a predictor of PIP.
No conflict of interest.
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