Reviewing Potentially Inappropriate Medication in Hospitalized Patients Over 65 Using Explicit Criteria: A Systematic Literature Review

Hesah Alshammari, Eman Al-Saeed, Zamzam Ahmed, Zoe Aslanpour

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Potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) is a primary health concern affecting the quality of life of patients over 65. PIM is associated with adverse drug reactions including falls, increased healthcare costs, health services utilization and hospital admissions. Various strategies, clinical guidelines and tools (explicit and implicit) have been developed to tackle this health concern. Despite these efforts, evidence still indicates a high prevalence of PIM in the older adult population. This systematic review explored the practice of using explicit tools to review PIM in hospitalized patients and examined the outcomes of PIM reduction. A literature search was conducted in several databases from their inception to 2019. Original studies that had an interventional element using explicit criteria detecting PIM in hospitalized patients over 65 were included. Descriptive narrative synthesis was used to analyze the included studies. The literature search yielded 6116 articles; 25 quantitative studies were included in this systematic literature review. Twenty were prospective studies and five were retrospective. Approximately, 15,500 patients were included in the review. Various healthcare professionals were involved in reviewing PIM including physicians and hospital pharmacists. Several tools were used to review PIM for hospitalized patients over 65, most frequently Beer's criteria and the STOPP/START tool. The reduction of PIM ranged from 3.5% up to 87%. The most common PIM were benzodiazepines and antipsychotics. This systematic review showed promising outcomes in terms of improving patient outcomes. However, the reduction of PIM varied in the studies, raising the question of the variance between hospitals in the explicit tools used for review. Additional studies need to be conducted to further investigate the outcomes of reviewing PIM at different levels, as well as assessing the cost-effectiveness of using explicit tools in reducing PIM.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-210
Number of pages28
JournalDrug, Healthcare and Patient Safety
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2021


  • older population
  • adverse drug effects
  • drug review tools
  • PIM


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