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  • 1.
    Lesén, Eva
    et al.
    Nordic Council of Ministers, Nordic School of Public Health NHV.
    Petzold, Max
    Nordic Council of Ministers, Nordic School of Public Health NHV.
    Andersson, Karolina
    Nordic Council of Ministers, Nordic School of Public Health NHV.
    Carlsten, Anders
    Department of Research and Development, The National Corporation of Swedish Pharmacies (Apoteket AB), Gothenburg, Sweden.
    To what extent does the indicator "concurrent use of three or more psychotropic drugs" capture use of potentially inappropriate psychotropics among the elderly?2009In: European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, ISSN 0031-6970, E-ISSN 1432-1041, Vol. 65, no 6, p. 635-42Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    PURPOSE: The indicator "concurrent use of three or more psychotropic drugs" has been used as a measure of quality in drug use among the elderly. The aim of our study was to assess to what extent the indicator captures the use of specific psychotropics associated with an increased risk of adverse events among the elderly, i.e., potentially inappropriate psychotropic drugs (PIP).

    METHODS: All individuals aged 75 years and older in Sweden purchasing prescribed psychotropic drugs in 2006 constituted the study population (n = 384,904). Data on purchased psychotropic drugs from the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register were used. The overlap between individuals with the indicator and individuals using PIP was assessed with sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values and likelihood ratio as outcome measures.

    RESULTS: Among the psychotropic drug users, 15% had the indicator and 39% used PIP. The proportion of individuals with the indicator among all individuals using PIP was 27% (sensitivity). The proportion of individuals without the indicator among all individuals not using PIP was 93% (specificity). The positive predictive value was 72%, and the negative predictive value was 67%. Differences in outcome measures were observed between different categories of PIP.

    CONCLUSIONS: The indicator "concurrent use of three or more psychotropics" can be technically easy to use, but PIP is more specific. Three quarters of all individuals who used PIP in this study were not captured by the indicator. However, two thirds of all individuals with the indicator used PIP. When selecting instruments to assess appropriateness in drug therapy in the elderly, clinical relevance should be balanced against convenience of use.

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