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Comparative Study
, 36 (5), 453-459

Potentially Inappropriate Prescribing and Related Hospital Admissions in Geriatric Patients: A Comparative Analysis Between the STOPP and START Criteria Versions 1 and 2

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Comparative Study

Potentially Inappropriate Prescribing and Related Hospital Admissions in Geriatric Patients: A Comparative Analysis Between the STOPP and START Criteria Versions 1 and 2

Stefanie Thevelin et al. Drugs Aging.

Abstract

Background: Older persons are at significant risk of drug-related admissions (DRAs). We previously demonstrated that 27% of hospitalizations in geriatric patients were associated with potentially inappropriate medicines (PIMs) and/or potential prescribing omissions (PPOs) identified by the Screening Tool of Older People's Prescriptions/Screening Tool to Alert to Right Treatment (STOPP/START) criteria version 1 (v1). The updated STOPP/START criteria version 2 (v2) comprised a 31% increase in prescribing criteria.

Objective: As a secondary analysis of our study conducted in 2008, we aimed to compare the prevalence and types of DRAs identified by STOPP/START.v1 and STOPP/START.v2.

Methods: We applied the STOPP/START.v2 criteria to a subset of 100 consecutively admitted geriatric patients selected from our original cross-sectional study of 302 patients. A geriatrician and a pharmacist adjudicated whether the identified PIMs and PPOs were related to acute hospitalization. Admissions were defined as DRAs if the identified PIM(s) and/or PPO(s) were related to the main cause of admission or played a significant contributory role in the admission.

Results: The median patient age was 83 years and the median number of medications at home was 8. Compared with STOPP/START.v1, STOPP/START.v2 not only yielded more instances of inappropriate prescribing but also targeted significantly more PIMs and PPOs associated with preventable DRAs (23% vs. 40% of all admissions, p < 0.001). PIMs of fall-risk-increasing drugs, and PPOs of musculoskeletal and cardiovascular system drugs, were most frequently associated with DRAs.

Conclusion: The latter instances of inappropriate prescribing with major clinical relevance warrant particular attention during medication review in older persons.

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