▪ Objective: To quantify the appropriateness of medication prescriptions in nursing home residents.
▪ Design: Prospective, cohort study.
▪ Setting: Twelve nursing homes in the greater Los Angeles area.
▪ Participants: A total of 1106 nursing home residents.
▪ Main Outcome Measures: The appropriateness of medication prescriptions was evaluated using explicit criteria developed through consensus by 13 experts from the United States and Canada. These experts identified 19 drugs that should generally be avoided and 11 doses, frequencies, or durations of use of specific drugs that generally should not be exceeded.
▪ Results: Based on the consensus criteria, 40% of residents received at least one inappropriate medication order, and 10% received two or more inappropriate medication orders concurrently; 7% of all prescriptions were inappropriate. Physicians prescribed a greater number of inappropriate medications for female residents. Regression analysis, corrected for clustering effects within facilities, showed that a greater number of inappropriate medication prescriptions were ordered in larger nursing homes. Inappropriate prescriptions were not related to the proportion of Medicaid (Medical) residents or the number of physicians practicing in the homes.
▪ Conclusions: Inappropriate medication prescribing in nursing homes is common. Female residents and residents of large nursing homes are at the greatest risk for receiving an inappropriate prescription.