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BMJ Open. 2012; 2(5): e001431.
Published online 2012 September 15. doi:  10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001431
PMCID: PMC3467596

Validation of prescribing appropriateness criteria for older Australians using the RAND/UCLA appropriateness method

Abstract

Objective

To further develop and validate previously published national prescribing appropriateness criteria to assist in identifying drug-related problems (DRPs) for commonly occurring medications and medical conditions in older (≥65 years old) Australians.

Design

RAND/UCLA appropriateness method.

Participants

A panel of medication management experts were identified consisting of geriatricians/pharmacologists, clinical pharmacists and disease management advisors to organisations that produce Australian evidence-based therapeutic publications. This resulted in a round-one panel of 15 members, and a round-two panel of 12 members.

Main outcome measure

Agreement on all criteria.

Results

Forty-eight prescribing criteria were rated. In the first rating round via email, there was disagreement regarding 17 of the criteria according to median panel ratings. During a face-to-face second round meeting, discussion resulted in retention of 25 criteria after amendments, agreement for 14 criteria with no changes required and deletion of 9 criteria. Two new criteria were added, resulting in a final validated list of 41 prescribing appropriateness criteria. Agreement after round two was reached for all 41 criteria, measured by median panel ratings and the amount of dispersion of panel ratings, based on the interpercentile range.

Conclusions

A set of 41 Australian prescribing appropriateness criteria were validated by an expert panel. Use of these criteria, together with clinical judgement and other medication review processes such as patient interview, is intended to assist in improving patient care by efficiently detecting potential DRPs related to commonly occurring medicines and medical conditions in older Australians. These criteria may also contribute to the medication management education of healthcare professionals.

Keywords: drug-related problems, prescribing criteria, older patients, inappropriate drug use

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