Medication prescribing practices for older prisoners in the Texas prison system.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVES: We sought to assess appropriateness of medication prescribing for older Texas prisoners. METHODS: In this 12-month cross-sectional study of 13 117 prisoners (aged > or = 55 years), we assessed medication use with Zhan criteria and compared our results to prior studies of community prescribing. We assessed use of indicated medications with 6 Assessing Care of Vulnerable Elders indicators. RESULTS: Inappropriate medications were prescribed to a third of older prisoners; half of inappropriate use was attributable to over-the-counter antihistamines. When these antihistamines were excluded, inappropriate use dropped to 14% (> or = 55 years) and 17% (> or = 65 years), equivalent to rates in a Department of Veterans Affairs study (17%) and lower than rates in a health maintenance organization study (26%). Median rate of indicated medication use for the 6 indicators was 80% (range = 12%-95%); gastrointestinal prophylaxis for patients on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories at high risk for gastrointestinal bleed constituted the lowest rate. CONCLUSIONS: Medication prescribing for older prisoners in Texas was similar to that for older community adults. However, overuse of antihistamines and underuse of gastrointestinal prophylaxis suggests a need for education of prison health care providers in appropriate prescribing practices for older adults.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Williams, BA; Baillargeon, JG; Lindquist, K; Walter, LC; Covinsky, KE; Whitson, HE; Steinman, MA

Published Date

  • April 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 100 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 756 - 761

PubMed ID

  • 19762661

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2836339

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1541-0048

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2105/AJPH.2008.154591


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States