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The Impact of Polypharmacy and Age on the Need for Medication Reviews
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Introduction: Polypharmacy and high age are factors associated with increased occurrence of inappropriate prescribing, side effects and hospital admissions. The medication review is a model used to increase appropriateness of prescribing and optimize pharmacotherapy for the individual patient. The National Board of Health and Welfare of Sweden has determined that the population targeted for medication reviews are 75 years or older with five or more prescribed drugs. Aim: To assess the need for medication reviews for elderly patients, divided into subgroups, admitted to Uppsala University Hospital. Materials and Methods: The study population (n=102) was divided into four groups based on age (65-74 and ≥75) and number of prescribed drugs on admission (<5 and ≥5). Validated tools (START/STOPP) were applied to patient's medication lists along with national recommendations to evaluate the quality of the drug therapy. Results: Younger elderly (65-74) had more potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) in comparison with elder elderly (≥75) (p=0.002). In the patient groups with ≥5 drugs younger elderly were in greater need of a medication review based on PIMs (p=0.009). Patients with ≥5 drugs had more PIMs than patients with <5 prescribed drugs (p=0.001). The subgroups were not statistically different regarding START or STOPP in other perspective. National recommendations were not statistically different between patients (≥75 years) with <5 or ≥5 prescribed drugs (p=0.290). Conclusions: The results suggest there is a need for a medication review among all subgroups in the elderly population, in particular younger elderly with many prescribed drugs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Polypharmacy, medication review, pharmacotherapy, elderly, START, STOPP
National Category
Social and Clinical Pharmacy
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-223170OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-223170DiVA: diva2:713084
Subject / course
Educational program
Master of Science Programme in Pharmacy
2014-01-15, Uppsala, 14:44 (Swedish)
Available from: 2014-04-22 Created: 2014-04-16 Last updated: 2014-04-22Bibliographically approved

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