European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 75, Issue 5, pp 723–731 | Cite as

STOPPFrail (Screening Tool of Older Persons’ Prescriptions in Frail adults with a limited life expectancy) criteria: application to a representative population awaiting long-term nursing care

  • Amanda Hanora LavanEmail author
  • Denis O’Mahony
  • Paul Gallagher
Pharmacoepidemiology and Prescription



STOPPFrail criteria highlight instances of potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) in frailer older adults with poor 1-year survival prognosis. The objectives of this study were to (i) determine the proportion of older adults requiring long-term nursing care in whom STOPPFrail criteria are applicable, (ii) measure the prevalence of STOPPFrail PIMs, and (iii) identify risk factors for PIMs in this cohort.


We retrospectively reviewed applications for long-term nursing care to nursing homes in the Cork area over a 6-month period. We recorded diagnoses, medications, functional status, cognitive ability, frailty status, and applied STOPPFrail criteria as appropriate.


We reviewed 464 applications; 38 were excluded due to incomplete information and 274 patients (64.3%) met STOPPFrail eligibility criteria (median age 83 years (IQR 77.25–88); 233 (54.7%) female). Those STOPPFrail eligible were prescribed 2194 medications (mean 8, (SD 4)), of which 828 (37.7%) were PIMs. At least one PIM was identified in 250 eligible patients (91.2%). The median number of PIMs was 3 (IQR 2–4), the most common being (i) medications without clear indication identified in 47.0% (n = 129) of patients, (ii) long-term high-dose proton pump inhibitors in 31.4% (n = 86), and (iii) statins in 29.6% (n = 81). For every additional medication prescribed, the odds of identifying a PIM increased by 58% (odds ratio 1.58, 95% CI 1.32–1.89, p < 0.001).


Almost 65% of patients awaiting long-term care are eligible for the application of STOPPFrail criteria with over 90% prescribed at least one PIM. Transition to nursing home care represents an opportunity to review therapeutic appropriateness and goals of prescribed medications.


STOPPFrail criteria Poor survival prognosis Potentially inappropriate medications Explicit criteria Older people 


Funding information

This research has been funded as part of the SENATOR project funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Program (EU FP7) programme (grant number 305930). Health Research Board Clinical Research Facility at University College Cork (HRB CRF-C).

Compliance with ethical standards

The local Clinical Research Ethics Committee at University College Cork (UCC) approved the study protocol.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine (Geriatrics)University College Cork, Cork University HospitalCorkIreland
  2. 2.Department of Geriatric MedicineCork University HospitalCorkIreland

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