Factors Associated with Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Community‐Dwelling Older Adults in the United States: A Systematic Review

Abstract [from journal]

Objectives: Potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) use in older adults is a prevalent problem associated with poor health outcomes. Understanding drivers of PIM use is essential for targeting interventions. This study systematically reviews the literature about the patient, clinician and environmental/system factors associated with PIM use in community‐dwelling older adults in the United States.

Methods: PRISMA guidelines were followed when completing this review. PubMed and EMBASE were queried from January 2006 to September 2017. Our search was limited to English‐language studies conducted in the United States that assessed factors associated with PIM use in adults ≥65 years who were community‐dwelling. Two independent reviewers screened titles and abstracts. Reviewers abstracted data sequentially and assessed risk of bias independently.

Key findings: Twenty‐two studies were included. Nineteen examined patient factors associated with PIM use. The most common statistically significant factors associated with PIM use were taking more medications, female sex, and higher outpatient and emergency department utilization. Only three studies examined clinician factors, and few were statistically significant. Fifteen studies examined system‐level factors such as geographic region and health insurance. The most common statistically significant association was the south and west geographic region relative to the northeast United States.

Conclusions: Amongst older adults, women and persons on more medications are at higher risk of PIM use. There is evidence that increased healthcare use is also associated with PIM use. Future studies are needed exploring clinician factors, such as specialty, and their association with PIM prescribing.