Medication-related harm in older adults following hospital discharge: development and validation of a prediction tool

Nikesh Parekh, Khalid Ali, John Graham Davies, Jennifer M. Stevenson, Winston Banya, Stephen Nyangoma, Rebekah Schiff, Tischa Van Der Cammen, Jatinder Harchowal, Chakravarthi Rajkumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives To develop and validate a tool to predict the risk of an older adult experiencing medication-related harm (MRH) requiring healthcare use following hospital discharge. Design, setting, participants Multicentre, prospective cohort study recruiting older adults (≥65 years) discharged from five UK teaching hospitals between 2013 and 2015. Primary outcome measure Participants were followed up for 8 weeks in the community by senior pharmacists to identify MRH (adverse drug reactions, harm from non-adherence, harm from medication error). Three data sources provided MRH and healthcare use information: Hospital readmissions, primary care use, participant telephone interview. Candidate variables for prognostic modelling were selected using two systematic reviews, the views of patients with MRH and an expert panel of clinicians. Multivariable logistic regression with backward elimination, based on the Akaike Information Criterion, was used to develop the PRIME tool. The tool was internally validated. Results 1116 out of 1280 recruited participants completed follow-up (87%). Uncertain MRH cases (â 'possible' and 'aprobable') were excluded, leaving a tool derivation cohort of 818. 119 (15%) participants experienced 'definite' MRH requiring healthcare use and 699 participants did not. Modelling resulted in a prediction tool with eight variables measured at hospital discharge: Age, gender, antiplatelet drug, sodium level, antidiabetic drug, past adverse drug reaction, number of medicines, living alone. The tool's discrimination C-statistic was 0.69 (0.66 after validation) and showed good calibration. Decision curve analysis demonstrated the potential value of the tool to guide clinical decision making compared with alternative approaches. Conclusions The PRIME tool could be used to identify older patients at high risk of MRH requiring healthcare use following hospital discharge. Prior to clinical use we recommend the tool's evaluation in other settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-153
Number of pages12
JournalBMJ Quality and Safety
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2019

Bibliographical note

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.
This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:


  • healthcare use
  • hospital discharge
  • Medication harm
  • older adults
  • risk prediction


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