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Can Pharm J (Ott). 2014 Mar;147(2):110-7. doi: 10.1177/1715163514521378.

Educational needs, practice patterns and quality indicators to improve geriatric pharmacy care.

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  • 1Faculties of Pharmacy (Zou, Tannenbaum) and Medicine (Tannenbaum), Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec.



As the population ages and pressure increases to reduce adverse drug reactions and drug-related hospitalizations in the elderly, there will be a growing demand for pharmacists to competently take on shared responsibility for effective and safe prescribing in older adults.


A cross-sectional postal survey was distributed to 3927 hospital and community pharmacists across Québec about their educational needs and practice patterns in geriatric care. Perceptions of different quality performance indicators were sought. Modifiable factors associated with higher performance were determined using univariate logistic regression.


Seven hundred six pharmacists (18%) completed the survey. Less than 50% were aware of the prevalence of polypharmacy, inappropriate prescribing, drug-related hospitalizations or falls in the geriatric population. Forty-one percent of community pharmacists and 74% of hospital pharmacists acknowledged familiarity with the Beers criteria of drugs to avoid in the elderly. The likelihood of screening for inappropriate prescriptions was 2.96 (95% confidence interval = 1.97-4.47) among pharmacists familiar with the Beers criteria and 2.24 (95% confidence interval = 1.50-3.34) among those who received continuing geriatric education in the workplace. On average, pharmacists reported having time to conduct detailed medication reviews in 30% of their older patients. The 2 quality indicators of geriatric care that were ranked most pertinent were being able to track the number of patients requiring hospitalization for drug-related problems and monitoring rates of inappropriate prescriptions. Ninety-six percent of respondents desired continuing education about geriatric care.


Exposure to continuing education in geriatric pharmacotherapy in the workplace is the most consistent determinant of professional performance to improve drug outcomes in the elderly.

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