The effectiveness of optimised clinical medication reviews for geriatric patients: Opti- Med a cluster randomised controlled trial

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Background. Inappropriate drug use is a frequent problem in older patients and associated with adverse clinical outcomes and an important determinant of geriatric problems. Clinical medication reviews (CMR) may reduce inappropriate drug use. Objective. The aim of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of CMR on quality of life (QoL) and geriatric problems in comparison with usual care in older patients with geriatric problems in the general practice. Methods. We performed a cluster randomised controlled trial in 22 Dutch general practices. Patients of ≥ 65 years were eligible if they newly presented with pre-specified geriatric symptoms in general practice and the chronic use of ≥ 1 prescribed drug. The intervention consisted of CMRs which were prepared by an independent expert team and discussed with the patient by the general practitioner. Primary outcomes: QoL and the presence of self-reported geriatric problems after a follow-up period of 6 months. Results. 518 patients were included. No significant differences between the intervention and control group and over time were found for QoL, geriatric problems, satisfaction with medication and self-reported medication adherence. After 6 months the percentage of solved Drug Related Problems (DRPs) was significantly higher in the intervention group compared to the control group [B 22.6 (95%CI 14.1-31.1), P < 0.001]. Conclusion. The study intervention did not influence QoL and geriatric problems. The higher percentage of solved DRPs in the intervention group did not result in effects on the patient's health. CMRs on a large scale seem not meaningful and should be reconsidered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-445
Number of pages9
JournalFamily Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Aged
  • Drug utilization review
  • Inappropriate prescribing
  • Primary health care
  • Quality of life
  • Randomized clinical trial

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