Patterns of high-risk prescribing and other factors in relation to receipt of a home medicines review: A prospective cohort investigation among adults aged 45 years and over in Australia

Publication Type:
Journal Article
BMJ Open, 2019, 9 (2)
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© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Objectives: To quantify the relationship between home medicines review (HMR) receipt in older adults and sociodemographic, medication-related and health factors. Design: Prospective cohort analysis. Settings, participants, measurements: Questionnaire data from a population-based cohort study of individuals aged ≥45 years, Sydney, Australia were linked with primary healthcare data, medication and hospitalisation data, to ascertain factors associated with HMR receipt during the period July 2009-June 2014. Medication-related factors included exposure to five and more medications (polypharmacy), narrow therapeutic index medicines, potentially inappropriate prescribing defined using Beers Criteria medicines, and anticholinergic and sedative drugs, defined using the Drug Burden Index (DBI). Poisson and Cox regression models were used to evaluate HMR receipt in relation to sociodemographic, behavioural and health characteristics, and time-varying factors including medication use and hospitalisations. Primary outcome: HMR receipt during the 5-year study period. Results: Over 5 years of follow-up, 4.7% (n=6115) of 131 483 participants received at least one HMR. Five-year HMR receipt was: 1.5% in people using <5 medications at baseline, 6.8% with 5-9 medications, 12.7% with ≥10 medications, 8.8% using Narrow Therapeutic Index medicines, 6.8% using Beers Criteria potentially inappropriate medicines and 7.4% using DBI medicines. Age-sex stratified HRs for HMR receipt were 6.07 (95% CI: 5.58 to 6.59) and 12.46 (11.42 to 13.59) for concurrent use of 5-9 and ≥10 versus <5 medications, respectively. The age-sex adjusted rate ratio for HMR receipt was 2.65 (2.51 to 2.80) with poor versus good self-reported health; this association was attenuated substantially following additional adjustment for polypharmacy. Conclusions: HMR was common in individuals using multiple medications, a formal indication for general practitioner referral and, to a lesser extent, with poorer health and other markers of high-risk prescribing. Despite this, HMR use over a 5-year period was generally below 10%, even in high-risk groups, suggesting substantial potential for improvement in uptake and targeting.
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