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Residential medication management reviews of antithrombotic therapy in aged care residents with atrial fibrillation: assessment of stroke and bleeding risk


Nishtala, PS and Castelino, RL and Peterson, GM and Hannan, PJ and Salahudeen, MS, Residential medication management reviews of antithrombotic therapy in aged care residents with atrial fibrillation: assessment of stroke and bleeding risk, Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 41, (3) pp. 279-284. ISSN 0269-4727 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

copyright 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1111/jcpt.12385


What is known and objective: Antithrombotics reduce the risk of stroke in individuals with atrial fibrillation (AF). However, optimal prescribing of antithrombotics in older people remains a challenge. The objective of this study was to assess the risk of stroke for aged care home residents with AF and to examine the pharmacist-led medication reviews on the utilization of antithrombotic therapy.

Methods: This retrospective study included a random sample of de-identified residential medication management reviews (RMMRs) conducted by accredited pharmacists in aged care homes in Sydney, Australia, between August 2011 and December 2012. The study participants were 146 residents aged 65 years and older with AF living in low- and high-care residential aged care facilities. Antithrombotic therapy was examined among the residents, before and after medication review. CHADS2, CHA2DS2-VASc, and HEMORR2HAGES scoring tools were used to assess the risk of stroke and bleeding and indicate the appropriateness of antithrombotic therapy.

Results and discussion: The mean age (ąSD) of individuals was 88·4 (7·5) years, and 63·7% (n = 93) were female. The majority of residents (n = 99, 67·8%) were aged between 85 and 99 years. The mean (ąSD) CHADS2 score was 3·1 (1·1), CHA2DS2-VASc was 4·6 (1·5), and HEMORR2HAGES was 2·3 (1·0). All residents were classified as being at high risk of developing stroke. A total of 115 of 146 (78·8%) residents with AF were prescribed antithrombotics. There was a relatively low usage of anticoagulation (28·1%), and few recommendations from the medication review pharmacists to alter the thromboprophylactic therapy in AF. Application of the CHA2DS2-VASc risk tool indicated that 146 residents were eligible for antithrombotic treatments; of these, 74 (50·7%) were prescribed antiplatelets and 41 (28·1%) were prescribed anticoagulants. Of the 31 (21·2%) residents with AF were not prescribed antithrombotics, 21 (67·7%) had relative contraindications for anticoagulant treatments.

What is new and conclusion: Although there was a high overall use of antithrombotic agents, the study found a reluctance to prescribe or recommend anticoagulants in eligible older people with AF, potentially due to associated contraindications and multimorbidity. The use of guideline-recommended stroke risk tools could assist medication review pharmacists in optimizing antithrombotic therapy in older adults with AF.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:aged care, antithrombotic, antithrombotic therapy, atrial fibrillation, drug utilization, elderly, fibrinolytic agents, medication review, older people, residential care
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences
Research Field:Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Castelino, RL (Dr Ronald Castelino)
UTAS Author:Peterson, GM (Professor Gregory Peterson)
UTAS Author:Salahudeen, MS (Dr Mohammed Salahudeen)
ID Code:111404
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:10
Deposited By:Pharmacy
Deposited On:2016-09-09
Last Modified:2018-05-07

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