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Technology and health care for the elderly medical research studies

Focus on strategic priorities that have significant social impact.

SIG 2014-M1

FRAMING-LTC: Frailty and Recognizing Appropriate Medications IN Geriatrics and Long-Term Care

The results of the study will assist in designing pilot interventions aimed at improving the quality of pharmacotherapy and health outcomes for vulnerable populations in long-term care (LTC).

Possible Research Results

Anticipated findingsThrough synthesis of study evidence we will be able to identify national and international applications for our findings, which include: (1) identifying possible pilot interventions at the resident, provider and LTC facility levels and (2) relating possible applications of population-based data at a policy level (i.e. the development of national quality indicators, standards of care).

Impact of findingsThis study is an opportunity to use the lens of frailty as a conceptualized state to examine potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) use in LTC residents in the short term (i.e. antimicrobials) and long-term (e.g. antipsychotics, statins). This represents a novel framework for this issue, combines disparate medication groups in a unifying theme, and will provide a springboard from which to develop policy- and practice-interventions of national importance.

Publications, presentations and webinars

About the Project

Older adults in LTC often have multiple chronic conditions that increase their exposure to multiple medications. This places them at risk for PIM use, adverse events and high health care utilization. Optimal prescribing for vulnerable older populations, particularly those in LTC, may be influenced by various system, provider, individual and caregiver factors, and represents a key quality-of-care concern. There is a lack of empirical data in this area, and thus our understanding of the relative benefits, harms and economic implications posed by select medications commonly prescribed in LTC remains inadequate and underdeveloped.

The concept of frailty offers a promising avenue for identifying older adults who may be less able to tolerate or benefit from high risk medications and may require an alternative approach to their care. Frailty has been relatively unexplored as a predictor of exposure to PIMs or as an effect modifier of medication-related adverse events in vulnerable populations. Quantitative and qualitative approaches will be used to understand the various factors that contribute to the prescribing of PIMs and associated poor outcomes among frail residents across LTC settings. Four medication classes will be examined: antimicrobial, antipsychotics, cholinesterase inhibitors and anti-lipidemics.

For more details on the project rationale, hypothesis, objectives and research plan, click here.

Project Team

Principal Investigators:

Andrew Morris, MD, SM, FRCP(C) -- Sinai Health System

Chaim Bell, MD, PhD -- Sinai Health System

Susan Bronskill, PhD -- Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences

Lianne Jeffs, MScN, PhD -- St. Michael's Hospital

Colleen Maxwell, BSc, MA, PhD -- University of Waterloo


Joseph Amuah, PhD -- Canadian Institute for Health Information

Nick Daneman, MD, MSc -- Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Sudeep Gill, MD, MSc -- Queen's University/Providence Care

Andrea Gruneir, PhD -- University of Alberta

David Hogan, PhD -- University of Calgary

Sylvia Hyland, MHSc -- Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada

Madelyn Law, PhD -- Brock University

Jacques Lee, MD, FRCPC, MSc -- Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Mark Loeb, MD, MSc -- McMaster University

Jonathan Mitchell, BSc, MSc -- Accreditation Canada

Kieran Moore, MD, CCFP(EM), FCFP, MPLc, MPH, MSc(DM), DTM&H, FRCPC -- KFL&A Public Health, Ontario

Scott Patten, MD, PhD -- University of Calgary

Jeff Powis, MD, MSc -- University of Toronto

Daniel Ricciuto, MD -- Lakeridge Health

Dallas Seitz, MD, PhD -- Queen's University/Providence Care

Samir Sinha, MD, DPhil, FRCPC -- Sinai Health System/University Health Network

Gary Teare, PhD -- Health Quality Council, Saskatchewan

Kednapa Thavorn, PhD -- Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Walter Wodchis, PhD -- University of Toronto

Project Contact: Andrew Morris -- andrew.morris@sinaihealthsystem

SIG 2014-M1

Key words: elderly; long-term care; antimicrobial stewardship; interventions; pilot project