Importance: Older patients with multiple co-morbidities and multi-drug use are at high risk of revisits to hospital and mortality, which poses an increasing health economic burden.
Objective: To construct and internally validate a risk score, the “80+ score”, for revisits to hospital and mortality for older patients, incorporating aspects of pharmacotherapy. Our secondary aim was to compare the discriminatory ability of the score with that of three validated tools for measuring inappropriate prescribing: Screening Tool of Older Person’s Prescriptions (STOPP), Screening Tool to Alert doctors to Right Treatment (START) and Medication Appropriateness Index (MAI).
Design: Secondary use of data from a randomized controlled trial investigating effects of a comprehensive pharmacist intervention, conducted in 2005-2006.
Setting: Two acute internal medicine wards at Uppsala University hospital.
Participants: Data from 368 patients, 80 years and older, admitted to one of the study wards.
Main outcomes and measures: Time to rehospitalization or death during the year after discharge from hospital. Candidate variables were selected among a large number of clinical and drug-specific variables. After a selection process, a score for risk-estimation was constructed. The score was internally validated, and the discriminatory ability of the new score and of STOPP, START and MAI was assessed using C-statistics.
Results: Seven variables were selected for the 80+ score. Impaired renal function, pulmonary disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD or asthma]), malignant disease (past or present), living in nursing home, being prescribed an opioid or being prescribed a drug for peptic ulcer or gastroesophageal reflux disease was associated with an increased risk, while being prescribed an antidepressant drug (tricyclic antidepressants not included) was linked to a lower risk of the outcome. These variables made up the components of the 80+ score. The C-statistics were 0.71 (80+ score), 0.57 (STOPP), 0.54 (START) and 0.63 (MAI).
Conclusion and Relevance: We developed and internally validated a score for prediction of risk of rehospitalization and mortality in hospitalized older people. The score discriminated risk considerably better than available tools for inappropriate prescribing. Pending external validation, this score can aid in clinical identification of high-risk patients and targeting of interventions.