Minimizing anticholinergic drug prescribing in older hospitalized patients: a full audit cycle

Hui Tay, Roy Soiza, Arduino Mangoni

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    15 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Anticholinergic drugs are associated with poor outcomes in older patients but no specific intervention strategies aimed at reducing anticholinergic drug exposure have been described. To identify whether a consultant-led medication review targeting anticholinergics would reduce anticholinergic drug exposure [number of anticholinergic drugs and Anticholinergic Risk Scale (ARS) score]. The first phase of the audit included 70 consecutive admissions (mean age 84 years, 53 women). ARS score was calculated on admission and after initial consultant review. Re-audit was undertaken on another 70 consecutive admissions (mean age 83 years, 43 women) after introducing a system of informing the responsible consultant of the ARS score at their first review. Drugs with anticholinergic effects (n = 53) were prescribed preadmission to 45/140 (32%) of patients. Consultant geriatrician review reduced ARS scores (p = 0.01), especially following the introduction of the information system (p = 0.002). In the first arm of the audit, 51 (73%) patients had ARS of 0 after a consultant's review compared with 47 (67%) patients on admission, whilst 67 (96%) patients had ARS of 2 or less after a consultant's review compared with 63 (90%) patients on admission. In the second arm of the audit, 59 (84%) patients had ARS of 0 after a consultant's review compared with 48 (69%) patients on admission, whilst 70 (100%) patients had ARS of 2 or less after a consultant's review compared with 69 (99%) patients on admission. Anticholinergic drugs were either stopped, or their dose reduced, in 35% of patients in the first arm of the audit and in 73% of patients in the re-audit (odds ratio 5.0, 95% confidence interval 1.4–17.8). Consultant-led medication review (standard practice) was effective at reducing anticholinergic drug exposure in the acute setting. A system of alerting clinicians to patients prescribed anticholinergic medications further reduced anticholinergic drug exposure.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)121-128
    Number of pages8
    JournalTherapeutic Advances in Drug Safety
    Volume5
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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