(HealthDay News) — An intervention (Optimizing Prescribing for Older People in Primary Care [OPTI-SCRIPT]) can reduce potentially inappropriate prescribing in older patients, according to a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine.

Barbara Clyne, PhD, from the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, and colleagues conducted a cluster-randomized controlled trial among 21 general practitioner practices and 190 patients with potentially inappropriate prescribing. 

Participants in intervention practices received a complex, multifaceted intervention, including academic detailing; review of medicines, with web-based pharmaceutical treatment algorithms providing alternative treatment options; and tailored information leaflets. Control practices delivered usual care and received feedback on potentially inappropriate prescribing at the patient level.

The researchers found that patients in the intervention group had significantly lower odds of having potentially inappropriate prescribing than patients in the control group at intervention completion (adjusted odds ratio, 0.32; P=.02). The mean number of potentially inappropriately prescribed drugs was 0.70 and 1.18 in the intervention and control groups, respectively (P=.02). 

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At intervention completion, the intervention group was less likely to have potentially inappropriately prescribed drugs than the control group, but the difference was not significant (incidence rate ratio, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.50-1.02; P=.49). The intervention effectively reduced proton pump inhibitor prescribing (adjusted odds ratio, 0.30; P = 0.04).

“The OPTI-SCRIPT intervention incorporating academic detailing with a pharmacist, and a review of medicines with web-based pharmaceutical treatment algorithms, was effective in reducing PIP,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Clyne B, Smith SM, Hughes CM, et al; for the OPTI-SCRIPT study team. Effectiveness of a Multifaceted Intervention for Potentially Inappropriate Prescribing in Older Patients in Primary Care: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial (OPTI-SCRIPT Study). Ann Fam Med. 2015;13(6):545-553.