A critique of research measures used to assess inappropriate psychoactive drug use in older adults

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2002 Feb;50(2):374-7. doi: 10.1046/j.1532-5415.2002.50072.x.


An overview and critique of research measures of inappropriate psychoactive drug use in the treatment of frail older adults is presented. These measures are compared on the basis of six key criteria for the complex determination of inappropriate psychoactive drug use as a research variable. These six instruments/standards are examined also for their advantages and disadvantages as research tools. Based on this review and related literature, recommendations are made that future studies of inappropriate psychoactive drug use include expert clinician assessment, measures of target symptoms and functional status, physiological indicators wherever possible, and drug and dosage classifications according to interdisciplinary consensus-based criteria.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Drug Utilization Review / methods*
  • Frail Elderly
  • Health Services Misuse*
  • Homes for the Aged / standards*
  • Humans
  • Nursing Homes / standards*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • United States


  • Psychotropic Drugs