Methods: data were collected prospectively from seven publicly funded nursing homes within the Munster Region of Ireland over 3 weeks. Data recorded included: current medication, current medical conditions, previous medical conditions, biochemistry, sex and age. STOPP/START was applied to each patient record.
Results: of the 313 patients recruited, 74.4% (233) were female, mean age (+/- SD) 84.4 (+/- 7.5) years. The total number of medicines prescribed was 2,555 [range: 1-16; median: 8 (IQR 6-10 )]. STOPP identified 329 instances of PIP in 187 (59.8%) patients and START identified 199 PPOs in 132 (42.2%) patients. The number of medicines prescribed was positively associated with PIP identified by STOPP (rs = 0.303, P < 0.01). Age, sex and the number of medicines prescribed were not associated with prescribing omissions using START.
Conclusions: a high proportion of patients recruited were prescribed at least one potentially inappropriate medicine, or had an omission of a clinically indicated medicine. Incorporating these tools into every-day practice could play a pivotal role in improving prescribing in this cohort.