Effects of Medication Reviews Performed by a Physician on Treatment with Fracture-Preventing and Fall-Risk-Increasing Drugs in Older Adults with Hip Fracture—A Randomized Controlled Study

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To investigate whether medication reviews increase treatment with fracture-preventing drugs and decrease treatment with fall-risk-increasing drugs.

DESIGN:

Randomized controlled trial (1:1).

SETTING:

Departments of orthopedics, geriatrics, and medicine at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.

PARTICIPANTS:

One hundred ninety-nine consecutive individuals with hip fracture aged 65 and older.

INTERVENTION:

Medication reviews, based on assessments of risks of falls and fractures, regarding fracture-preventing and fall-risk-increasing drugs, performed by a physician, conveyed orally and in written form to hospital physicians during the hospital stay, and to general practitioners after discharge.

MEASUREMENTS:

Primary outcomes were changes in treatment with fracture-preventing and fall-risk-increasing drugs 12 months after discharge. Secondary outcomes were falls, fractures, deaths, and physicians' attitudes toward the intervention.

RESULTS:

At admission, 26% of intervention and 29% of control participants were taking fracture-preventing drugs, and 12% and 11%, respectively, were taking bone-active drugs, predominantly bisphosphonates. After 12 months, 77% of intervention and 58% of control participants were taking fracture-preventing drugs (P = .01), and 29% and 15%, respectively, were taking bone-active drugs (P = .04). Mean number of fall-risk-increasing drugs per participants was 3.1 (intervention) and 3.1 (control) at admission and 2.9 (intervention) and 3.1 (control) at 12 months (P = .62). No significant differences in hard endpoints were found. The responding physicians (n = 65) appreciated the intervention; on a scale from 1 (very bad) to 6 (very good), the median rating was 5 (interquartile range (IQR) 4–6) for the oral part and 5 (IQR 4–5.5) for the text part.

CONCLUSION:

Medication reviews performed and conveyed by a physician increased treatment with fracture-preventing drugs but did not significantly decrease treatment with fall-risk-increasing drugs in older adults with hip fracture. Prescribing physicians appreciated this intervention. J Am Geriatr Soc 61:1464–1472, 2013.

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