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Drugs Aging. 2018 Dec 19. doi: 10.1007/s40266-018-0620-9. [Epub ahead of print]

Interventions to Optimise Prescribing in Older People with Dementia: A Systematic Review.

Author information

1
Centre for Health Services Research, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia. leila.shafieehanjani@uq.net.au.
2
Department of Pharmacy, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Woolloongabba, QLD, Australia.
3
Centre for Health Services Research, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.
4
Global Brain Health Institute, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.
5
Centre for Optimising Pharmacy Practice-based Excellence in Research, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.
6
PA-Southside Clinical Unit, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Older adults living with dementia may have a higher risk of medication toxicity than those without dementia. Optimising prescribing in this group of people is a critically important yet challenging process.

OBJECTIVE:

Our aim was to systematically review the evidence for the effectiveness of interventions for optimising prescribing in older people with dementia.

METHODS:

This systematic review searched the Pubmed, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO and Cochrane Library electronic databases for studies that evaluated relevant interventions. Experimental, quasi-experimental and observational studies published in English prior to August 2018 were included. Data were synthesised at a narrative level.

RESULTS:

The 18 studies accepted for review included seven randomised, two nonrandomised controlled, five quasi-experimental and four observational studies. Half the studies were conducted in nursing homes and the other half in hospital and community settings. There was great variability in the interventions and outcomes reported and a meta-analysis was not feasible. The three randomised and four nonrandomised studies examining medication appropriateness all reported improvements on at least one measure of the outcome. Six studies reported on interventions that identified and resolved drug-related problems. The results for other outcomes, including the number of medications (10 studies), healthcare utilisation (7 studies), mortality (7 studies), quality of life (3 studies) and falls (3 studies), were mixed and difficult to synthesise because of variability in the study design and measures used.

CONCLUSION:

Emerging evidence suggests that interventions in older people with dementia may have positive effects on medication appropriateness and resolution of drug-related problems; however, whether optimisation of medication results in clinically meaningful outcomes remains uncertain.

PMID:
30565157
DOI:
10.1007/s40266-018-0620-9

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