Intervention with the screening tool of older persons potentially inappropriate prescriptions/screening tool to alert doctors to right treatment criteria in elderly residents of a chronic geriatric facility: a randomized clinical trial

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2014 Sep;62(9):1658-65. doi: 10.1111/jgs.12993.


Objectives: To assess the effect of a Screening Tool of Older Persons potentially inappropriate Prescriptions/Screening Tool to Alert doctors to Right Treatment (STOPP/START) medication intervention on clinical and economic outcomes.

Design: Parallel-group randomized trial.

Setting: Chronic care geriatric facility.

Participants: Residents aged 65 and older prescribed with at least one medication (N = 359) were randomized to receive usual pharmaceutical care or undergo medication intervention.

Intervention: Screening medications with STOPP/START criteria followed up with recommendations to the chief physician.

Measurements: The outcome measures assessed at the initiation of the intervention and 1 year later were number of hospitalizations and falls, Functional Independence Measure (FIM), quality of life (measured using the Medical Outcomes Study 12-item Short-Form Health Survey), and costs of medications.

Results: The average number of drugs prescribed was significantly lower in the intervention than in the control group after 1 year (P < .001). The average drug costs in the intervention group decreased by 103 shekels (US$29) per participant per month (P < .001). The average number of falls in the intervention group dropped significantly (P = .006). Rates of hospitalization, FIM scores, and quality of life measurements were similar for both groups.

Conclusion: Implementation of STOPP/START criteria reduced the number of medications, falls, and costs in a geriatric facility. Their incorporation in those and similar settings is recommended.

Keywords: START criteria; STOPP criteria; elderly adults; intervention.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Drug Costs
  • Drug Utilization Review*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Inappropriate Prescribing / prevention & control*
  • Inappropriate Prescribing / statistics & numerical data
  • Israel
  • Male
  • Nursing Homes
  • Pharmacists
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Quality of Life