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Potentially Inappropriate Prescribing, Potential Prescribing Omissions, STOPP, START, Older People


Department of Health and Children, The Atlantic Philanthropies and Irish Life. Health Research Board (HRB) of Ireland through the HRB Centre for Primary Care Research under Grant HRC/2007/1.


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PURPOSE: We sought to estimate the prevalence of potentially inappropriate prescriptions (PIP) and potential prescribing omissions (PPOs) using a subset of the STOPP/START criteria in a population based sample of Irish adults aged ≥ 65 years using data from The Irish LongituDinal Study on Ageing (TILDA).

METHODS: A subset of 26 PIP indicators and 10 PPO indicators from the STOPP/START criteria were applied to the TILDA dataset. PIP/PPO prevalence according to individual STOPP/START criteria and the overall prevalence of PIP/PPO were estimated. The relationship between PIP and PPOs and polypharmacy, age, gender and multimorbidity was examined using logistic regression.

RESULTS: The overall prevalence of PIP in the study population (n=3,454) was 14.6 %. The most common examples of PIP identified were NSAID with moderate-severe hypertension (200 participants; 5.8 %) and aspirin with no history of coronary, cerebral, or peripheral vascular symptoms or occlusive event (112 participants; 3.2 %). The overall prevalence of PPOs was 30 % (n=1,035). The most frequent PPO was antihypertensive therapy where systolic blood pressure consistently >160 mmHg (n=341, 9.9 %), There was a significant association between PIP and PPO and polypharmacy when adjusting for age, sex and multimorbidity (adjusted OR 2.62, 95 % CI 2.05-3.33 for PIP and adjusted OR 1.46, 95 % CI 1.23-1.75 for prescribing omissions).

CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate prescribing omissions are twice as prevalent as PIP in the elderly using a subset of the STOPP/START criteria as an explicit process measure of potentially inappropriate prescribing and prescribing omissions. Polypharmacy was independently associated with both PPO and PIP. Application of such screening tools to prescribing decisions may reduce unnecessary medication, related adverse events, healthcare utilisation and cost.


Medicine and Health Sciences


Galvin R, Moriarty F, Cousins G, Cahir C, Motterlini N, Bradley M, Hughes CM, Bennett K, Smith SM, Fahey T, Kenny RA. Prevalence of potentially inappropriate prescribing and prescribing omissions in older Irish adults: findings from The Irish LongituDinal Study on Ageing study (TILDA). European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 2014;70:599-606.

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