Knowledge Translation Strategy to Reduce the Use of Potentially Inappropriate Medications in Hospitalized Elderly Adults

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2016 Dec;64(12):2487-2494. doi: 10.1111/jgs.14322. Epub 2016 Sep 2.


Objectives: To evaluate the effect of a knowledge translation (KT) strategy to reduce potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) use in hospitalized elderly adults.

Design: Segmented regression analysis of an interrupted time series.

Setting: Teaching hospital.

Participants: Individuals aged 75 and older discharged from the hospital in 2013/14 (mean age 83.3, 54.5% female).

Intervention: The KT strategy comprises the distribution of educational materials, presentations by geriatricians, pharmacist-physician interventions based on alerts from a computerized alert system, and comprehensive geriatric assessments.

Measurements: Rate of PIM use (number of patient-days with use of at least one PIM/number of patient-days of hospitalization for individuals aged ≥75).

Results: For 8,622 patients with 14,071 admissions, a total of 145,061 patient-days were analyzed. One or more PIMs were prescribed on 28,776 (19.8%) patient-days; a higher rate was found for individuals aged 75 to 84 (24.0%) than for those aged 85 and older (14.4%) (P < .001), and in women (20.8%) than in men (18.6%) (P < .001). The drug classes most frequently accounting for the PIM were gastrointestinal agents (21%), antihistamines (18%), and antidepressants (17%). An absolute decrease of 3.5% (P < .001) of patient-days with at least one PIM was observed immediately after the intervention.

Conclusion: A KT strategy resulted in decreased use of PIM in elderly adults in the hospital. Additional interventions will be implemented to maintain or further reduce PIM use.

Keywords: aged; elderly; hospital; knowledge translation; potentially inappropriate medications.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Hospitalization*
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Inappropriate Prescribing / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Potentially Inappropriate Medication List
  • Translational Research, Biomedical