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Development and validation of the Medication Regimen Simplification Guide for Residential Aged CarE (MRS GRACE)

Authors Chen EYH, Sluggett JK, Ilomäki J, Hilmer SN, Corlis M, Picton LJ, Dean L, Alderman CP, Farinola N, Gailer J, Grigson J, Kellie AR, Putsey PJC, Yu S, Bell JS

Received 29 November 2017

Accepted for publication 7 March 2018

Published 18 May 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 975—986

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S158417

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Andrew Yee

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker


Video abstract presented by Esa YH Chen.

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Esa YH Chen,1,2 Janet K Sluggett,1,2 Jenni Ilomäki,1,3 Sarah N Hilmer,2,4 Megan Corlis,2,5 Leonie J Picton,1 Laura Dean,1 Christopher P Alderman,6 Nicholas Farinola,7 Joy Gailer,8 Jane Grigson,5 Andrew R Kellie,9 Peter JC Putsey,5 Solomon Yu,10 J Simon Bell1–3


1Centre for Medicine Use and Safety, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Parkville, VIC, Australia; 2NHMRC Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre, Sydney Medical School – Northern, Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital, Hornsby, NSW, Australia; 3Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; 4Kolling Institute, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney and Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW, Australia; 5Helping Hand Aged Care, North Adelaide, SA, Australia; 6School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia; 7Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Royal Adelaide Hospital, North Terrace, Adelaide, SA, Australia; 8Drug and Therapeutics Information Service, Repatriation General Hospital, Daw Park, SA, Australia; 9East Adelaide Healthcare, Newton, SA, Australia; 10Aged and Extended Care Services, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woodville South, SA, Australia


Background: Residents of aged care facilities use increasingly complex medication regimens. Reducing unnecessary medication regimen complexity (eg, by consolidating the number of administration times or using alternative formulations) may benefit residents and staff.
Objective: To develop and validate an implicit tool to facilitate medication regimen simplification in aged care facilities.
Method: A purposively selected multidisciplinary expert panel used modified nominal group technique to identify and prioritize factors important in determining whether a medication regimen can be simplified. The five prioritized factors were formulated as questions, pilot-tested using non-identifiable medication charts and refined by panel members. The final tool was validated by two clinical pharmacists who independently applied the tool to a random sample of 50 residents of aged care facilities to identify opportunities for medication regimen simplification. Inter-rater agreement was calculated using Cohen’s kappa.
Results: The Medication Regimen Simplification Guide for Residential Aged CarE (MRS GRACE) was developed as an implicit tool comprising of five questions about 1) the resident; 2) regulatory and safety requirements; 3) drug interactions; 4) formulation; and 5) facility and follow-up considerations. Using MRS GRACE, two pharmacists independently simplified medication regimens for 29/50 and 30/50 residents (Cohen’s kappa=0.38, 95% CI 0.12–0.64), respectively. Simplification was possible for all residents with five or more administration times. Changing an administration time comprised 75% of the two pharmacists’ recommendations.
Conclusions: Using MRS GRACE, two clinical pharmacists independently simplified over half of residents’ medication regimens with fair agreement. MRS GRACE is a promising new tool to guide medication regimen simplification in aged care.

Keywords: medication therapy management, long-term care, geriatrics, drug administration, medication regimen complexity

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