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Inappropriate prescribing is a risk factor for adverse drug reactions and hospitalizations in the elderly and places a considerable burden on the healthcare system. Hence, it is imperative to identify irrational prescribing and implement interventions to improve prescribing appropriateness in geriatric clinical practice. This study aimed to determine: (i) the prevalence of potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) according to Beers STOPP, FORTA, and the Medication Appropriateness Index (MAI) criteria; (ii) the prevalence of potential prescribing omissions (PPOs) according to START criteria; and (iii) the predictors for PIMs and PPOs. A cross-sectional study was performed among elderly outpatients of 10 primary healthcare centers with specialized geriatric clinics in Kuwait. Four-hundred and seventy-eight patients were selected randomly, 420 (87.9%) agreed to participate. Data about chronic diseases and prescribed medications were obtained from the physicians by accessing the patients' medical records. Descriptive and multivariable logistic regression were used for data analysis. A total of 2645 medications were prescribed to all patients; mean (SD) number of medicines per patient was 6.3 (3.0). PIMs were present in 53.1%, 55.7%, and 44.3% of respondents, according to Beers, STOPP, and FORTA criteria, respectively. Almost 74% of respondents had one or more inappropriate ratings among their medications in the MAI criteria. According to START criteria, 19.8% of patients had at least one PPO. Respondents taking ≥ 5 medications were found to be using more PIMs according to Beers (
6.3), STOPP (
3.3), FORTA (
6.0) and MAI (
3.9) criteria in comparison to those taking ≤ 4 medications (p<0.001). The MAI revealed a significantly higher number of medications with inappropriate ratings compared to the Beers, STOPP and FORTA criteria (p<0.001). Taking the MAI as reference standard, STOPP criteria had the highest sensitivity (68.6%) and measure of agreement (Kappa index = 0.40) to detect PIMs compared with Beers and FORTA criteria. Inappropriate prescribing is common among the elderly in the primary geriatric clinics. This necessitates further evaluation of its impact on clinical outcomes and warrants efforts to implement interventions to improve prescribing practice in these settings.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: PloS one
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