Hospital physicians’ and older patients’ agreement with individualised STOPP/START-based medication optimisation recommendations in a clinical trial setting

C. J. A. Huibers*, B. T. G. M. Sallevelt, J. M. J. op Heij, D. O’Mahony, N. Rodondi, O. Dalleur, R. J. van Marum, A. C. G. Egberts, I. Wilting, W. Knol

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the agreement of hospital physicians and older patients with individualised STOPP/START-based medication optimisation recommendations from a pharmacotherapy team. Methods: This study was embedded within a large European, multicentre, cluster randomised controlled trial examining the effect of a structured medication review on drug-related hospital admissions in multimorbid (≥ 3 chronic conditions) older people (≥ 70 years) with polypharmacy (≥ 5 chronic medications), called OPERAM. Data from the Dutch intervention arm of this trial were used for this study. Medication review was performed jointly by a physician and pharmacist (i.e. pharmacotherapy team) supported by a Clinical Decision Support System with integrated STOPP/START criteria. Individualised STOPP/START-based medication optimisation recommendations were discussed with patients and attending hospital physicians. Results: 139 patients were included, mean (SD) age 78.3 (5.1) years, 47% male and median (IQR) number of medications at admission 11 (9–14). In total, 371 recommendations were discussed with patients and physicians, overall agreement was 61.6% for STOPP and 60.7% for START recommendations. Highest agreement was found for initiation of osteoporosis agents and discontinuation of proton pump inhibitors (both 74%). Factors associated with higher agreement in multivariate analysis were: female gender (+ 17.1% [3.7; 30.4]), ≥ 1 falls in the past year (+ 15.0% [1.5; 28.5]) and renal impairment i.e. eGFR 30–50 ml/min/1.73 m2; (+ 18.0% [2.0; 34.0]). The main reason for disagreement (40%) was patients’ reluctance to discontinue or initiate medication. Conclusion: Better patient and physician education regarding the benefit/risk balance of pharmacotherapy, in addition to more precise and up-to-date medical records to avoid irrelevant recommendations, will likely result in higher adherence with future pharmacotherapy optimisation recommendations. Clinical trial registration: Trial Registration Number NCT02986425.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-552
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Geriatric Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022

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