Impact of residential medication management reviews on anticholinergic burden in aged care residents

Patricia E. Mclarin, Gregory M. Peterson, Colin M. Curtain, Prasad S. Nishtala, Paul J. Hannan, Ronald L. Castelino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (SciVal)


Objectives:The primary objective of this study was to investigate the impact of Residential Medication Management Reviews (RMMRs) on anticholinergic burden quantified by seven anticholinergic risk scales.Design:Retrospective analysis.Setting:Accredited pharmacists conducted RMMRs in aged-care facilities (ACFs) in Sydney, Australia.Participants:RMMRs pertained to 814 residents aged 65 years or older.Measurements:Anticholinergic burden was quantified using seven scales at baseline, after pharmacists recommendations and after the actual GP uptake of pharmacists recommendations. Change in the anticholinergic burden was measured using the Wilcoxon sign rank test.Results:At baseline, depending on the scale used to estimate the anticholinergic burden, between 36% and 67% of patients were prescribed at least one regular anticholinergic medication (ACM). Anticholinergic burden scores were significantly (p < 0.001) lower after pharmacists recommendations as determined by each of the seven scales. The reduction in anticholinergic burden was also significant (p < 0.001) after GPs acceptance of the pharmacists recommendations according to all scales with the exception of one scale which reached borderline significance (p = 0.052).Conclusion:Despite the limitations of the retrospective design and differences in the estimation of anticholinergic burden, this is the first study to demonstrate that RMMRs are effective in reducing ACM prescribing in ACF residents, using a range of measures of anticholinergic burden. Future studies should focus on whether a decrease in anticholinergic burden will translate into improvement in clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-131
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Medical Research and Opinion
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2016


  • Aged-care facilities
  • Anticholinergic burden
  • Medication reviews
  • Pharmacists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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