STOPP (Screening Tool of Older Persons' potentially inappropriate Prescriptions): application to acutely ill elderly patients and comparison with Beers' criteria

Age Ageing. 2008 Nov;37(6):673-9. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afn197. Epub 2008 Oct 1.


Introduction: STOPP (Screening Tool of Older Persons' potentially inappropriate Prescriptions) is a new, systems-defined medicine review tool. We compared the performance of STOPP to that of established Beers' criteria in detecting potentially inappropriate medicines (PIMs) and related adverse drug events (ADEs) in older patients presenting for hospital admission.

Methods: we prospectively studied 715 consecutive acute admissions to a university teaching hospital. Diagnoses, reason for admission and concurrent medications were recorded. STOPP and Beers' criteria were applied. PIMs with clear causal connection or contribution to the principal reason for admission were determined.

Results: median patient age (interquartile range) was 77 (72-82) years. Median number of prescription medicines was 6 (range 0-21). STOPP identified 336 PIMs affecting 247 patients (35%), of whom one-third (n = 82) presented with an associated ADE. Beers' criteria identified 226 PIMs affecting 177 patients (25%), of whom 43 presented with an associated ADE. STOPP-related PIMs contributed to 11.5% of all admissions. Beers' criteria-related PIMs contributed to significantly fewer admissions (6%).

Conclusion: STOPP criteria identified a significantly higher proportion of patients requiring hospitalisation as a result of PIM-related adverse events than Beers' criteria. This finding has significant implications for hospital geriatric practice.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Admitting Department, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Drug Interactions
  • Female
  • Hospitals, University / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / instrumentation*
  • Medical Records / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prescription Drugs / adverse effects*
  • Prescription Drugs / standards
  • Prescription Drugs / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Prescription Drugs