Targeting Suboptimal Prescribing in the Elderly: A Review of the Impact of Pharmacy Services
Castelino, RL and Bajorek, BV and Chen, TF, Targeting Suboptimal Prescribing in the Elderly: A Review of the Impact of Pharmacy Services, The Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 43, (June) pp. 1096-. ISSN 1060-0280 (2009) [Refereed Article]
OBJECTIVE: To review the currently available literature on the impact of
interventions by pharmacists on suboptimal prescribing in the elderly.
DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE, EMBASE, and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts
databases were searched for studies published between January 1992 and
December 2008. Key words included medication review, drug regimen review,
pharmaceutical services, pharmaceutical care, pharmacists, medications,
appropriateness, suboptimal, underuse, aged, elderly, randomized controlled trial,
inappropriate, prescribing, and intervention.
STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION: To be included in the review, studies
must have been conducted in patients 65 years or older, published in English,
randomized and controlled, and must have included an intervention delivered by
a pharmacist or had a pharmacist as a member of the intervention team. From
each relevant study, the following data were extracted: study duration, country,
number of patients, year of publication, objective, type and impact of the
intervention, method used to assess suboptimal prescribing, and data concerning
the quality of the study.
DATA SYNTHESIS: A total of 38 articles were identified, of which 12 matched our
inclusion criteria. Seven articles included interventions initiated by pharmacists,
and the remaining 5 described interventions in which the pharmacist was a part
of the multidisciplinary team. A broad range of tools was used to measure
prescribing appropriateness; we found that a consensus on the best approach
has not been reached. Most of the studies involving pharmacists showed
significant improvement in suboptimal prescribing at one or more time points.
However, most of these interventions were directed toward reducing the overuse
or misuse of medications.
CONCLUSIONS: Pharmacy services to reduce suboptimal prescribing have shown
promising and noteworthy improvements. More research is needed to address
the underutilization of medications in the elderly and healthcare impact of
reducing suboptimal prescribing.