Feasibility of a novel data source for drug utilisation research in aged care

Lisa G. Pont, Marc Postma, Gerard Stevens, Michael J. Dolton, Andrew McLaclan

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Drug utilisation studies are highly dependant on the quality and completeness of the data set used. Like many countries Australia there are a number of administrative data sources which can be used to explore drug utilisation in populations. Commonly used Australian data sources include government reimbursement data, pharmacy dispensing data or physician prescribing data; however these datasets may not contain complete medication histories for individual patients. Dose administration aids (DAA) are used in Australian nursing homes to facilitate medication administration and safety. The associated DAA administrative data includes information on all medicines administered patients receiving DAAs.

Objectives: The objective of this study was to explore the feasibility of using dose administration aid packing data to determine the prevalence and type of medication use in aged care facility residents.

Methods: A cross sectional survey was conducted of medication use by residents from 26 aged care facilities in NSW, Australia was conducted using DAA packing data. Residents (n = 2,585) who received at least one prescribed medication between June 31,2009 and 1 July 2010 were included in the analysis. The primary outcome measure was the prevalence of prescribed medication use (% patients). The top 10 medications by ATC class (level 5) were determined.

Results: The most commonly used classes of medications were nervous system agents (ATC class N, 89% of the study population), alimentary tract agents (ATC class A, 88%), and anti-infectives (ATC class J, 63%). The top 10 medications used were paracetamol (75%), senna combinations (47%), vitamin D (40%), cephalexin (35%), furosemide (30%), macrogol laxatives (30%), low dose aspirin (28%), temazepam (27%) and eye lubricants (21%).

Conclusions: Dose administration aid packing data represents a novel data set well suited for use in drug utilisation research. The completeness of the data and the inclusion of both prescription and non-prescription items provides unique opportunities for drug utilisation research and pharmacoepidemiology.
Original languageEnglish
Article number167
Pages (from-to)81-81
Number of pages1
JournalPharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
Issue numberSupplement s3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event28th International Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology & Therapeutic Risk Management - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 23 Aug 201226 Aug 2012


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