The Effect of Beers Criteria-Based Training in General Practitioners on Prescribing Potentially Inappropriate Medications in Elderly Patients
Background: Pharmacotherapy in elderly patients has become a major concern due to their physiological changes, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics variations and poly-pharmacy. In considering the global trend in population aging, we aim to evaluate the effect of “Beers Criteria” education on prescribing medications for elderly patients by General Practitioners (GPs).
Methods: Thirty GPs with the highest number of prescriptions were included in this pilot study. All prescriptions written over a three-month period were considered, then prescriptions for geriatric patients were selected and evaluated. The GPs were trained using pamphlets and booklets which were prepared based on Beers 2015 explicit criteria. In order to evaluate the effect of education, appropriateness of prescriptions was analyzed before and 1 month following training.
Results: Of 15,447 prescriptions selected during the first step, 1,281 prescriptions were related to geriatric patients in which the prevalence of inappropriate drug prescriptions was 37.3%. The most inappropriate medications identified were Bisacodyl, Alprazolam, and Hyoscyamine. While in the second step 1,055 of 15,154 prescriptions concerned the elderly and inappropriate drug prescription rate was noted as 23.6%. The most common inappropriate medications included Alprazolam, Amitriptyline, and Hyoscyamine. Based on our results, the prevalence of prescribing potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) for elderly patients is high among GPs and educational interventions that raise awareness about “Beers Criteria” significantly reduce the prescribing PIMs.
Conclusion: Given the importance of GP training programs in reducing inappropriate prescription rates among geriatric patients, it will be necessary for the National Committee of Rational Use of Drugs (NCRUD) to consider undertaking comprehensive educational strategies for reducing the prevalence of inappropriate medication use in elderly people.
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