Pharmacy World and Science

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 135–137

Therapy related hospital admission in patients on polypharmacy in Singapore: a pilot study


  • Y. Koh
    • Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of ScienceNational University of Singapore
  • S. Chuen Li
    • Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of ScienceNational University of Singapore
  • M.K. Fatimah
    • Alexandra Hospital

DOI: 10.1023/A:1024896328720

Cite this article as:
Koh, Y., Chuen Li, S. & Fatimah, M. Pharm World Sci (2003) 25: 135. doi:10.1023/A:1024896328720


Objective: To estimate the incidence of drug-related problems (DRPs)‐associated hospital admission, and its correlation to polypharmacy and age.Method: A retrospective, cross‐sectional study in in-patients on polypharmacy in Singapore. Significant differences (p < 0.05) between number of medications taken and age of patients were tested with the chi‐square test.Results: The study population consisted of 347 patients (aged 16–97) on a mean of 7.4 ± 2.1 medications. 10.8% of the study population had DRPs on admission: 71.9% of which were dominant reasons for admission, and DRPs contributed partly in the remaining cases. These DRPs were mostly avoidable, and can be broadly classified into non‐compliance, adverse drug reactions, require synergistic therapy, inappropriate dose and untreated condition. 52% of these cases were made up of geriatric patients. No statistical difference was found between patients on polypharmacy and those on major polypharmacy (10 and more drugs) in having a DRP.Conclusion: In this study, DRPs contributing to hospital admission appeared to be avoidable. Geriatrics were more susceptible to DRPs and future efforts are required in managing medications prescribed for these patients to reduce such incidences.

Drug related problemsGeriatric patientsPolypharmacySingapore
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003