Medication discrepancy and potentially inappropriate medication in older Chinese-American home-care patients after hospital discharge

Sophia H Hu, Elizabeth Capezuti, Janice B Foust, Marie P Boltz, Hongsoo Kim
American Journal of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy 2012, 10 (5): 284-95

BACKGROUND: Studies of potential medication problems among older adults have focused on English-speaking populations in a single health care setting or a single potential medication problem. No previous studies investigated potential inappropriate medications (PIMs) and medication discrepancies (MDs) among older Chinese Americans during care transitions from hospital discharge to home care.

OBJECTIVE: The aims of this study were to examine, in older Chinese Americans, the prevalence of both PIMs and MDs; the relationship between PIMs and MDs; and the patient and hospitalization characteristics associated with them during care transitions from hospital discharge to home care.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted with a sample of older Chinese Americans from a large certified nonprofit home-care agency in New York City from June 2010 to July 2011. PIMs were identified by using 2002 diagnosis-independent Beers criteria. MDs were identified by comparing the differences between hospital discharge medication order and home-care admission medication order. Prevalence of PIMs and MDs and their relationship was determined. Logistic regression examined the relationship between hospitalization and patient characteristics with PIMs and MDs.

RESULTS: The sample consisted of 82 older Chinese-American home-care patients. Twenty (24.3%) study participants were prescribed at least one PIM at hospital discharge. Fifty-one (67.1%) study participants experienced at least one MD. A positive correlation was found between the occurrence of PIMs and MDs (r = 0.22; P = 0.05). Number of medications was the only significant factor associated with both PIMs and MDs. In addition, older age and more hospitalization days were associated with PIMs.

CONCLUSIONS: The evident prevalence of PIMs and MDs supports the practice of evaluating the appropriateness of medications while reconciling inconsistencies in medication regimens. The number of medications was the only factor associated with both PIMs and MDs, underscoring the need to address polypharmacy as a multifaceted threat to patient health.

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