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Asthma, children, potentially inappropriate prescribing, prescribing indicators, primary care.


HRB Centre for Primary Care Research, funding grant HRC/2007/1. Health Research Board (RL-15-1579).


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OBJECTIVES: Evidence is limited regarding the quality of prescribing to children. The objective of this study was to apply a set of explicit prescribing indicators to a national pharmacy claims database (Primary Care Reimbursement Service) to determine the prevalence of potentially inappropriate prescribing in children (PIPc) in primary care.

PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOMES MEASURES: To determine the overall prevalence of potentially inappropriate prescribing (PIP) in children in primary care. To examine the prevalence of PIPc by gender.

DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-sectional study. Application of indicators of commission of PIP and omission of appropriate prescribing to a national prescribing database in Ireland.

PARTICIPANTS: Eligible children2014.

RESULTS: Overall prevalence of PIPc by commission was 3.5% (95% CI 3.5% to 3.6%) of eligible children2.5% (95% CI 2.5% to 2.6%) which rose to 11.5% (95% CI 11.4% to 11.7%) when prescribing of spacer devices for children with asthma was included. The most common individual PIPc by commission was the prescribing of carbocisteine to children (3.3% of eligible children). The most common PIPc by omission (after excluding spacer devices) was failure to prescribe an emollient to children prescribed greater than one topical corticosteroid (54% of eligible children). PIPc by omission was significantly higher in males compared with females (relative risk (RR) 1.3; 95% CI 1.0 to 1.7) but no different for PIPc by commission (RR 1.0; 95% CI 0.7 to 1.6).

CONCLUSION: This study shows that the overall prevalence of PIP in children is low, although results suggest room for improved adherence to asthma guidelines.


Medicine and Health Sciences


Barry E, Moriarty F, Boland F, Bennett K, Smith SM. The PIPc Study-application of indicators of potentially inappropriate prescribing in children (PIPc) to a national prescribing database in Ireland: a cross-sectional prevalence study. BMJ Open. 2018;8(10):e022876.

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