Ability to detect potentially inappropriate prescribing in older patients: comparative analysis between PIM-Check and STOPP/STARTv2

Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2021 Nov;77(11):1747-1756. doi: 10.1007/s00228-021-03171-4. Epub 2021 Jun 30.


Purpose: Potentially inappropriate prescribing (PIP) is a source of preventable adverse drug events. The objective of this study was a comparative analysis (quantitative and qualitative) between two tools used to detect PIP, PIM-Check and STOPP/START.

Methods: First, a qualitative analysis (QAC) was conducted to evaluate the concordance between the criteria, which constitute PIM-Check and the gold standard STOPP/START. Second, a retrospective comparative and observational study was performed on the list of treatment at the admission of 50 older patients hospitalized in an acute geriatric ward of a university hospital in Switzerland in 2016 using both tools.

Results: The QAC has shown that 50% (57 criteria) of STOPP/START criteria are fully or partially concordant with those of PIM-Check. The retrospective study was performed on 50 patients aged 87 years, suffering from 5 co-morbidities (min-max 1-11) and treated by of 8 drugs (min-max 2-16), as medians. The prevalence of the detected PIP was 80% by PIM-Check and 90% by STOPP/START. Medication review shows that 4.2 PIP per patient were detected by PIM-Check and 3.5 PIP by STOPP/START among which 1.9 PIP was commonly detected by both tools, as means. PIM-Check detected more PIP related to cardiology, angiology, nephrology, and endocrinology in older patients but missed the PIP related to geriatric syndromes (e.g., fall, dementia, Alzheimer) detected by STOPP/START.

Conclusions: By using PIM-Check in geriatric settings, some PIP will not be detected. It is considered as a limitation for this tool in this frail population but brings a certain complementarity in other areas of therapy not covered by STOPP/START.

Keywords: Aged; Medication review; PIM-Check; Potentially inappropriate medication list; Prescribing errors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods*
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Inappropriate Prescribing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Polypharmacy
  • Potentially Inappropriate Medication List / statistics & numerical data*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sociodemographic Factors
  • Switzerland