Evaluating medication-related quality of care in residential aged care: a systematic review

Jodie B. Hillen, Agnes Vitry, Gillian E. Caughey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Given the growing aged care population, the complexity of their medication-related needs and increased risk of adverse drug events, there is a necessity to systematically monitor and manage medication-related quality of care. The aim of this systematic review was to identify and synthesise medication-related quality of care indicators with respect to application to residential aged care. MEDLINE (Ovid), Psychinfo, CINAHL, Embase and Google® were searched from 2001 to 2013 for studies that were in English, focused on older people aged 65+ years and discussed the development, application or validation of original medication-related quality of care indicators. The quality of selected articles was appraised using the Critical Appraisal Skills Program and psychometric qualities extracted and synthesised using content analysis. Indicators were mapped to six medication-related quality of care attributes and a minimum indicator set derived. Thirty three articles describing 25 indicator sets met the inclusion criteria. Thirteen (52%) contained prescribing quality indicators only. Eight (32%) were developed specifically for aged care. Twenty three (92%) were validated and seven (28%) assessed for reliability. The most common attribute addressed was medication appropriateness (n = 24). There were no indicators for evaluating medication use in those with limited life expectancy, which resulted in only five of the six attributes being addressed. The developed minimum indicator set contains 28 indicators representing 22 of 25 identified indicator sets. Whilst a wide variety of validated indicator sets exist, none addressed all aspects of medication-related quality of care pertinent to residential aged care. The minimum indicator set is intended as a foundation for comprehensively evaluating medication-related quality of care in this setting. Future work should focus on bridging identified gaps.

Original languageEnglish
Article number220
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 5 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Aged or aged
  • Medication safety and Systematic review
  • Over 80
  • Quality improvement
  • Quality indicators
  • Residential aged care or nursing home

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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