Potentially Inappropriate Prescribing for Elderly Patients in 2 Outpatient Settings

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Research has shown a high prevalence of potentially inappropriate medication prescribing (PIP) for elderly patients in outpatient settings, but little is known about whether a physician's practice setting influences prescribing attitudes. This study examines the prevalence of PIP among elderly patients in 2 outpatient practices, 1 located in a senior citizens center and 1 in a general family medicine clinic. The authors conducted a retrospective chart review of a random sample of 50 individuals aged 65 years or older from each practice. The 2003 version of the Beers criteria was used to identify PIP. Results show that some one fourth of the elderly sampled in both practices had 1 or more incidents of PIP. The most common potentially inappropriate drug classes prescribed were psychotropic agents and anti-inflammatory drugs. Demographic patient variables were not significantly associated with PIP. This study suggests that PIP may be prevalent across physician groups.

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