Appropriate and Inappropriate Medication Prescribing in Oldest Old People Admitted to Hospital


Project Details

Oldest old people, who are defined as those aged 85 years and older, are often prescribed many medications to treat several conditions, which has important implications for medication safety. Individuals aged 85 years and older are the fastest growing population group of many developed countries, such as Australia. They are at enormous risk of developing adverse events such as falls, gastrointestinal bleeding, and cognitive impairment.

In addition, oldest old people may be denied potentially beneficial medications without a valid reason. In this study, the STOPP (Screening Tool of Older Persons' Prescriptions) and START (Screening Tool to Alert doctors to Right Treatment) criteria will be applied to a random sample of oldest old people admitted to hospital. Use of these validated screening tools will determine what medications have been inappropriately commenced in oldest old people and what medications have been inappropriately stopped or not commenced in these people.

The adverse events experienced by oldest old people will also be examined to determine whether the medications they are prescribed may be associated with these adverse events. Medical histories of oldest old people will be examined retrospectively on admission, at three days following admission and at discharge. Following completion of the study recommendations will be made about the safety and appropriateness of medication prescribing for oldest old people. The student will gain experience in literature searching, writing a literature review, examining diverse data sources from medical records, analysing data using statistical calculations, constructing a research thesis, and writing for publication.

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to Honours, Master of Biomedical Science students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.

Research Group


School Research Themes


Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Medicine and Radiology


Royal Melbourne Hospital

Unit / Centre


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