Potentially inappropriate prescriptions (PIP) are an important cause of adverse medication-related events and increases morbidity, hospitalization, and health care costs, especially in nursing home residents. However, little is known about the associations between PIP and residents’ characteristics.
The aim of our study was to analyse the prevalence and associations of PIP with residents’ and facilities’ characteristics.
We performed a secondary analysis of a cross-sectional study with 48 out of 50 eligible nursing homes and 1,844 out of 2,005 eligible residents in a defined rural-urban area in Austria. The Austrian list of potentially inappropriate medications was applied for the evaluation of inappropriate prescribing. Cluster-adjusted multiple regression analysis was used to investigate institutional and residents’ characteristics associated with PIP.
Mean cluster-adjusted prevalence of residents with at least one PIP was 70.3 % (95 % CI 67.2–73.4). The number of residents with at least one psychotropic PIP was 1.014 (55 %). The most often prescribed PIP were Prothipendyl (25.9 % residents), Lorazepam (14.5 %) and Diclofenac (6.1 %). Multiple regression analysis showed an inverse association of PIP with cognitive impairment and significant positive associations with permanent restlessness and permanent negative attitude. The associations of PIP with age and male gender were inconsistent. No significant associations were found for PIP and the ratio of staff nurses to residents.
Our study results confirm that PIP is highly prevalent in the nursing home population. These results urgently call for effective interventions. Initiatives and successful interventions performed in other countries could serve as examples for safer prescribing in residents in Austria.