Incident-event rate of preventable drug-related morbidity in older adults in Nova Scotia

Neil J. MacKinnon, Nicole R. Hartnell, Susan K. Bowles, Susan A. Kirkland, Erika J.M. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Preventable drug-related morbidity (PDRM) is an issue of special concern in geriatric medicine. The objective of this study was to determine the incident-event rate of PDRM in older adults in one area of Nova Scotia, Canada. Methods: The study population consisted of seniors enrolled in the Nova Scotia Pharmacare program in the western part of the Halifax Regional Municipality. Claims information for all inpatient admissions, emergency room and physician office visits, ambulatory prescription medication use, and laboratory results was contained within a database. PDRM indicators were developed in a previous stage of the study. The incident-event rate was determined by (1) identifying the number of occurrences for each outcome associated with the indicators and (2) identifying the number of outcomes that followed a specified pattern of care. Results: The study population consisted of 22,453 older adults. The computerized search identified 29,796 outcomes, 3,277 of which matched the associated pattern of care and were thus considered occurrences of PDRM. The incident-event rate of PDRM in seniors in Nova Scotia was 110 instances of PDRM per 1,000 occurrences. Conclusions: This study has helped quantify the magnitude of the problem of PDRM in older adults in this region of Nova Scotia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-163
Number of pages5
JournalCanadian Journal of Geriatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Medication use
  • Prescribing
  • Preventable drug-related morbidity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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