International consensus validation of the POPI tool (Pediatrics: Omission of Prescriptions and Inappropriate prescriptions) to identify inappropriate prescribing in pediatrics

PLoS One. 2020 Oct 5;15(10):e0240105. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0240105. eCollection 2020.


Introduction: While drug prescription should be based on established recommendations stemming from clinical trials but in pediatrics, many drugs are used without marketing authorization. Consequently recommendations are often based on clinical experience and the risk of inappropriate prescription (IP) is high. A tool for detecting IP in pediatrics-called POPI (Pediatrics: Omission of Prescriptions and Inappropriate prescriptions)-has been developed in France. However the relevance of its use at an international level is not known. Our aim has been to adapt POPI for a worldwide use.

Material and method: A two-round Delphi online questionnaire was completed and validated by international experts to identify consensual items. They were asked to rate the validity of each items taking into account the recommendations and practices in their countries. Only propositions obtaining a median score in the upper tertile with an agreement of more than 75% of the panel-for the first round-and 85%-for the second round-were retained.

Results: Our panel included 11 pharmacists (55%) and 9 physicians (45%). The panelists came from 12 different countries: England, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Ivory Coast, Ireland, Malaysia, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey and Vietnam. At the end of the first round, of the 105 items of the original POPI tool, 80 items were retained including 16 items reworded and 25 items were deleted. In the second round, 14 experts participated in the study. This final international POPI tool is composed of 73 IP and omissions of prescriptions in the fields of neuropsychiatry, dermatology, infectiology, pneumology, gastroenterology, pain and fever.

Discussion and conclusion: This study highlights international consensus on prescription practice in pediatrics. The use of this tool in everyday practice could reduce the risk of inappropriate prescription. The impact of the diffusion of POPI tool will be assessed in a prospective multicentric study.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Delphi Technique
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data
  • France
  • Humans
  • Inappropriate Prescribing* / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Pediatrics* / statistics & numerical data
  • Pharmacists
  • Physicians

Grants and funding

The author(s) received no specific funding for this work.