• Appropriate prescribing in the elderly: an investigation of two screening tools, Beers criteria considering diagnosis and independent of diagnosis and improved prescribing in the elderly tool to identify inappropriate use of medicines in the elderly in primary care in Ireland.

      Ryan, C; O'Mahony, D; Kennedy, J; Weedle, P; Barry, P; Gallagher, P; Byrne, S; Pharmaceutical Care Research Group, School of Pharmacy, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. (2009-08)
      Elderly patients are particularly vulnerable to inappropriate prescribing, with increased risk of adverse drug reactions and consequently higher rates of morbidity and mortality. A large proportion of inappropriate prescribing is preventable by adherence to prescribing guidelines, suitable monitoring and regular medication review. As a result, screening tools have been developed to help clinicians improve their prescribing.
    • Inappropriate prescribing in the elderly.

      Gallagher, P; Barry, P; O'Mahony, D; Department of Geriatric Medicine, Cork University Hospital, Wilton, Cork,, Ireland. (2012-02-03)
      BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Drug therapy is necessary to treat acute illness, maintain current health and prevent further decline. However, optimizing drug therapy for older patients is challenging and sometimes, drug therapy can do more harm than good. Drug utilization review tools can highlight instances of potentially inappropriate prescribing to those involved in elderly pharmacotherapy, i.e. doctors, nurses and pharmacists. We aim to provide a review of the literature on potentially inappropriate prescribing in the elderly and also to review the explicit criteria that have been designed to detect potentially inappropriate prescribing in the elderly. METHODS: We performed an electronic search of the PUBMED database for articles published between 1991 and 2006 and a manual search through major journals for articles referenced in those located through PUBMED. Search terms were elderly, inappropriate prescribing, prescriptions, prevalence, Beers criteria, health outcomes and Europe. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Prescription of potentially inappropriate medications to older people is highly prevalent in the United States and Europe, ranging from 12% in community-dwelling elderly to 40% in nursing home residents. Inappropriate prescribing is associated with adverse drug events. Limited data exists on health outcomes from use of inappropriate medications. There are no prospective randomized controlled studies that test the tangible clinical benefit to patients of using drug utilization review tools. Existing drug utilization review tools have been designed on the basis of North American and Canadian drug formularies and may not be appropriate for use in European countries because of the differences in national drug formularies and prescribing attitudes. CONCLUSION: Given the high prevalence of inappropriate prescribing despite the widespread use of drug-utilization review tools, prospective randomized controlled trials are necessary to identify useful interventions. Drug utilization review tools should be designed on the basis of a country's national drug formulary and should be evidence based.
    • START (screening tool to alert doctors to the right treatment)--an evidence-based screening tool to detect prescribing omissions in elderly patients.

      Barry, P J; Gallagher, P; Ryan, C; O'mahony, D; Cork University Hospital, Department of Geriatric Medicine, Ireland., pat_barry@eircom.net (2012-02-03)
      BACKGROUND: Inappropriate prescribing encompasses acts of commission i.e. giving drugs that are contraindicated or unsuitable, and acts of omission i.e. failure to prescribe drugs when indicated due to ignorance of evidence base or other irrational basis e.g. ageism. There are considerable published data on the prevalence of inappropriate prescribing; however, there are no recent published data on the prevalence of acts of omission. The aim of this study was to calculate the prevalence of acts of prescribing omission in a population of consecutively hospitalised elderly people. METHODS: A screening tool (screening tool to alert doctors to the right treatment acronym, START), devised from evidence-based prescribing indicators and arranged according to physiological systems was prepared and validated for identifying prescribing omissions in older adults. Data on active medical problems and prescribed medicines were collected in 600 consecutive elderly patients admitted from the community with acute illness to a teaching hospital. On identification of an omitted medication, the patient's medical records were studied to look for a valid reason for the prescribing omission. RESULTS: Using the START list, we found one or more prescribing omissions in 57.9% of patients. In order of prevalence, the most common prescribing omissions were: statins in atherosclerotic disease (26%), warfarin in chronic atrial fibrillation (9.5%), anti-platelet therapy in arterial disease (7.3%) and calcium/vitamin D supplementation in symptomatic osteoporosis (6%). CONCLUSION: Failure to prescribe appropriate medicines is a highly prevalent problem among older people presenting to hospital with acute illness. A validated screening tool (START) is one method of systematically identifying appropriate omitted medicines in clinical practice.
    • STOPP & START criteria: A new approach to detecting potentially inappropriate prescribing in old age

      O'Mahony, D; Gallagher, P; Ryan, C; Byrne, S; Hamilton, H; Barry, P; O'Connell, M; Kennedy, J (2010-02)
    • STOPP (Screening Tool of Older Person's Prescriptions) and START (Screening Tool to Alert doctors to Right Treatment). Consensus validation.

      Gallagher, P; Ryan, C; Byrne, S; Kennedy, J; O'Mahony, D; Department of Geriatric Medicine, Cork University Hospital, Wilton, Cork,, Ireland. (2012-02-03)
      OBJECTIVE: Older people experience more concurrent illnesses, are prescribed more medications and suffer more adverse drug events than younger people. Many drugs predispose older people to adverse events such as falls and cognitive impairment, thus increasing morbidity and health resource utilization. At the same time, older people are often denied potentially beneficial, clinically indicated medications without a valid reason. We aimed to validate a new screening tool of older persons' prescriptions incorporating criteria for potentially inappropriate drugs called STOPP (Screening Tool of Older Persons' Prescriptions) and criteria for potentially appropriate, indicated drugs called START (Screening Tool to Alert doctors to Right, i.e. appropriate, indicated Treatment). METHODS: A Delphi consensus technique was used to establish the content validity of STOPP/START. An 18-member expert panel from academic centers in Ireland and the United Kingdom completed two rounds of the Delphi process by mail survey. Inter-rater reliability was assessed by determining the kappa-statistic for measure of agreement on 100 data-sets. RESULTS: STOPP is comprised of 65 clinically significant criteria for potentially inappropriate prescribing in older people. Each criterion is accompanied by a concise explanation as to why the prescribing practice is potentially inappropriate. START consists of 22 evidence-based prescribing indicators for commonly encountered diseases in older people. Inter-rater reliability is favorable with a kappa-coefficient of 0.75 for STOPP and 0.68 for START. CONCLUSION: STOPP/START is a valid, reliable and comprehensive screening tool that enables the prescribing physician to appraise an older patient's prescription drugs in the context of his/her concurrent diagnoses.