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Am J Geriatr Pharmacother. 2006 Jun;4(2):134-43.

Potentially inappropriate medication use in elderly patients receiving home health care: a retrospective data analysis.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Scott & White Hospital and Clinic and Health Sciences Center, The Texas A&M University System, Temple, USA.



Previous medication management research has focused on hospital and long-term care facility settings, where drug-utilization reviews are used to reduce medication errors. Patients receiving home health care (HHC) are without the benefit of systematic drug-utilization reviews.


The purpose of this study was to review medication use in elderly patients receiving HHC to identify the prevalence of potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) use, dangerous drug interactions (DDIs), and other patterns of medication use.


This retrospective chart review was conducted using data from Medicare recipients aged > or =65 years who were patients of Scott & White Memorial Hospital and Clinic, Scott, Sherwood and Brindley Foundation, Temple, Texas, in 2002. Pharmacists compiled medication profiles based on admissions data. PIM use was identified using the Beers criteria. DDIs were identified using the Multidisciplinary Medication Management Project criteria. Polyphsarmsacy was identified in patients receiving > or =9 medications.


Data from 786 patients were included (mean [SD] age, 78 [7] years [range, 65-100 years; median, 78 years]; 36% men; 86% white; and 53% admitted to HHC after a hospital stay). The mean (SD) number of medications was 8.0 (3.7), with 39% of patients receiving polypharmacy. PIM use was identified in 31% of patients. DDIs were identified in 10% of patients, with a significantly higher prevalence in men (P < 0.01). Rates of PIM use and DDIs were 37% and 20%, respectively, in patients receiving polypharmacy.


In this retrospective data analysis in this population of elderly patients receiving HHC in 2002, PIM and DDI were prevalent, and polypharmacy was associated with increased rates of PIM use and DDIs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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