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Additional value of a triggerlist as selection criterion in identifying patients at high risk of medication-related hospital admission: a retrospective cohort study

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Of all hospital admissions in older patients, 10–30% seem to be medication-related. However, medication-related admissions are often unidentified in clinical practice. To increase the identification of medication-related hospital admissions in older patients a triggerlist is published in the Dutch guideline for polypharmacy.


To assess whether the triggerlist has value as selection criterion to identify patients at high risk of medication-related hospital admissions.


This retrospective cohort study was carried out in 100 older (≥ 60 years) patients with polypharmacy and having two triggers from the triggerlist. The admissions were assessed as either possibly or unlikely medication-related according to the Assessment Tool for identifying Hospital Admissions Related to Medications.


Of all the admissions 48% were classified as possibly medication-related. Patients with a possible medication-related hospital admission were more likely to have an impaired renal function (p = 0.015), but no differences with regard to age, sex, comorbidity or number of medicines were found.


The high prevalence of medication-related hospital admissions, suggests the triggerlist may have added value as selection criterion in a cohort of older patients with polypharmacy and can be used to improve the identification of a population at high risk of medication-related hospital admissions.

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The CHECkUP is supported by a grant from the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw), Grant Number: 848016012. The funding body has no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript of this sub-study.

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Correspondence to A. E. M. J. H. Linkens.

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Linkens, A.E.M.J.H., Janssen, M.J.M., van Nie, N. et al. Additional value of a triggerlist as selection criterion in identifying patients at high risk of medication-related hospital admission: a retrospective cohort study. Int J Clin Pharm 44, 1205–1210 (2022).

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