Intervention to reduce inappropriate use of medicines in elderly people: effect on health outcomes

Professor Jill Cockburn, Associate Professor Julie Byles, Professor David Henry, Associate Professor Paul Glasziou (University of Queensland), Sabrina Pitt (PhD student)

General practitioners have a key role in managing people's medications and educating about appropriate use of medicines. The study involves around 850 patients attending 20 Hunter General Practices, and aims to alert medical practitioners to medication risks and encourages structured medication review to reduce this risk.

The medication review mechanism was developed through detailed review of public evidence and through expert consensus. It focuses on a limited set of medications and behaviours that have been found to be associated with poor outcomes and in common use in the population. Long-term follow-up of the patients involved in the trial will continue into 2003.