Potentially suboptimal prescribing of medicines for older Aboriginal Australians in remote areas

Potentially suboptimal prescribing of medicines for older Aboriginal Australians in remote areas Journal Article

Medical Journal of Australia

  • Author(s): Page, Amy, Hyde, Zoë, Smith, Kate, Etherton-Beer, Christopher, Atkinson, David N, Flicker, Leon, Skeaf, Linda, Malay, Roslyn, LoGiudice, Dina C
  • Published: 2019
  • ISBN: 0025-729X

Abstract: Objectives To investigate the prevalence of polypharmacy, under-prescribing and potentially inappropriate medicine use among Aboriginal Australians living in remote Western Australia. Design Cross-sectional study. Setting Six remote communities and the town of Derby in the Kimberley, Western Australia. Participants Aboriginal people aged 45 years or more with complete medication histories. Main outcome measures Proportions of patients with medicine histories indicating polypharmacy, potential under-prescribing of indicated medicines, or potentially inappropriate prescribing (including potential prescribing cascades or drug interactions). Results Complete medicine histories were available for 273 participants. The mean number of prescribed medicines was 5.1 (SD, 3.6). At least one form of suboptimal prescribing was identified for 166 participants (61%), including polypharmacy for 145 (53%), potential under-prescribing of at least one indicated medicine for 33 (12%), and potentially inappropriate prescribing for 54 participants (20%). Potential prescribing cascades or drug interactions were identified for 12 participants (4%). Conclusions Potentially suboptimal prescribing affected more than half the participating older Aboriginal Australians from the Kimberley. If generalisable to other remote Indigenous Australians, the prevalence of polypharmacy, potentially inappropriate prescribing, and under-prescribing of indicated medicines is problematic, and suggests that older Indigenous people in remote areas are at risk of medicine-related harm.

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Suggested Citation
Page, Amy, Hyde, Zoë, Smith, Kate, Etherton-Beer, Christopher, Atkinson, David N, Flicker, Leon, Skeaf, Linda, Malay, Roslyn, LoGiudice, Dina C, 2019, Potentially suboptimal prescribing of medicines for older Aboriginal Australians in remote areas, Journal Article, viewed 10 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=15309.

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