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Development of a core outcome set for medication review in older patients with multimorbidity and polypharmacy: a study protocol

Authors Beuscart JB, Dalleur O, Boland B, Thevelin S, Knol W, Cullinan S, Schneider C, O'Mahony D, Rodondi N, Spinewine A

Received 23 February 2017

Accepted for publication 29 April 2017

Published 30 August 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 1379—1389


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Jean-Baptiste Beuscart,1 Olivia Dalleur,1 Benoit Boland,2 Stefanie Thevelin,1 Wilma Knol,3 Shane Cullinan,4 Claudio Schneider,5 Denis O’Mahony,6 Nicolas Rodondi,4,7 Anne Spinewine1,8

1Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain Drug Research Institute, Clinical Pharmacy Research Group, Brussels, Belgium; 2Geriatric Medicine, Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc, Brussels, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium; 3Department of Geriatric Medicine and Expertise Centre Pharmacotherapy in Old Persons (EPHOR), University Medical Centre Utrecht, Netherlands; 4School of Pharmacy, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland; 5Department of General Internal Medicine, Bern University Hospital, Bern, Switzerland; 6Department of Medicine (Geriatrics), University College Cork, Cork, Ireland; 7Institute of Primary Health Care (BIHAM), University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland; 8Université catholique de Louvain, CHU UCL Namur, Pharmacy Department, Yvoir, Belgium

Background: Medication review has been advocated to address the challenge of polypharmacy in older patients, yet there is no consensus on how best to evaluate its efficacy. Heterogeneity of outcomes reported in clinical trials can hinder the comparison of clinical trial findings in systematic reviews. Moreover, the outcomes that matter most to older patients might be under-reported or disregarded altogether. A core outcome set can address this issue as it defines a minimum set of outcomes that should be reported in all clinical trials in any particular field of research. As part of the European Commission-funded project, called OPtimising thERapy to prevent Avoidable hospital admissions in the Multimorbid elderly, this paper describes the methods used to develop a core outcome set for clinical trials of medication review in older patients with multimorbidity.
Methods/design: The study was designed in several steps. First, a systematic review established which outcomes were measured in published and ongoing clinical trials of medication review in older patients. Second, we undertook semistructured interviews with older patients and carers aimed at identifying additional relevant outcomes. Then, a multilanguage European Delphi survey adapted to older patients was designed. The international Delphi survey was conducted with older patients, health care professionals, researchers, and clinical experts in geriatric pharmacotherapy to validate outcomes to be included in the core outcome set. Consensus meetings were conducted to validate the results.
Discussion: We present the method for developing a core outcome set for medication review in older patients with multimorbidity. This study protocol could be used as a basis to develop core outcome sets in other fields of geriatric research.

Keywords: core outcome set, study protocol, polypharmacy, multimorbidity

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