Journal Article

Potentially inappropriate medication use among elderly home care patients in Europe.

Fialová D, Topinková E, Gambassi G, et al. JAMA. 2005;293:1348-58.

This retrospective cross-sectional study of nearly 3000 elderly patients aimed to estimate the prevalence of inappropriate medication use. Investigators studied participants from several European cities and found that nearly 20% used at least one inappropriate medication. Discussion includes a detailed table comparing three different criteria systems for identifying inappropriate medications in the elderly as well as comparisons of the findings in this study with those in the United States. The authors also describe noted regional differences within European cities and report a number of factors associated with inappropriate use, including poor economic situation, polypharmacy, and depression. They authors call for greater regulatory measures and uniformity within the European Union to improve prescribing habits for the elderly.