European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 71, Issue 9, pp 1037–1050 | Cite as

Evaluation of the heterogeneity of studies estimating the association between risk factors and the use of potentially inappropriate drug therapy for the elderly: a systematic review with meta-analysis

  • Ana Patrícia A. L. Santos
  • Daniel Tenório da Silva
  • Genival Araujo dos Santos Júnior
  • Carina Carvalho Silvestre
  • Marco Antônio Prado Nunes
  • Divaldo Pereira LyraJr.Email author
  • Angelo Roberto Antoniolli
Review Article



This study was conducted to evaluate the heterogeneity of studies estimating the association between risk factors (age, gender, and polypharmacy) and the use of potentially inappropriate drug therapy for the elderly (PIDT).


This study is a systematic review with meta-analysis of observational studies. LILACS, PubMed, Scopus, and the Web of Science databases were reviewed. The following data were extracted from the included studies: country, type of study, characteristics of the sample, practice scenarios, instruments to evaluate potentially inappropriate drug therapy for the older adults, and patient-related variables.


Twenty-nine articles (17 cross-sectional and 12 cohort) were included. The majority of the studies were conducted in Europe. Regarding the study durations, 3 to 18 months was necessary to perform the research. As for the sample characteristics, all the studies analyzed involved the older adults and included anywhere from 96 patients to 33,830,599 outpatient consultations. Of the variables analyzed, only polypharmacy presented a positive association with the use of PIDT. All meta-analysis studies showed high heterogeneity, indicating the lack of a methodological standardization of the studies included, among other factors.


Aged Potentially inappropriate drug therapy for the elderly Risk factors Meta-analysis 


Conflict of interest

The authors of this manuscript do not have any kind of conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Patrícia A. L. Santos
    • 1
  • Daniel Tenório da Silva
    • 1
  • Genival Araujo dos Santos Júnior
    • 1
  • Carina Carvalho Silvestre
    • 1
  • Marco Antônio Prado Nunes
    • 2
  • Divaldo Pereira LyraJr.
    • 1
    Email author
  • Angelo Roberto Antoniolli
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Teaching and Research in Social Pharmacy (LEPFS), Faculty of PharmacyFederal University of SergipeSão CristóvãoBrazil
  2. 2.Faculty of MedicineFederal University of SergipeSão CristóvãoBrazil

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