UMMS Affiliation

Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Clinical Epidemiology | Epidemiology | Geriatrics | Health Services Administration | Health Services Research


BACKGROUND: A multimodal general practitioner-focused intervention in the Local Health Authority (LHA) of Parma, Italy, substantially reduced the prevalence of potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) use among older adults. Our objective was to estimate changes in hospitalization rates associated with the Parma LHA quality improvement initiative that reduced PIM use.

METHODS: This population-based longitudinal cohort study was conducted among older residents ( > 65 years) using the Parma LHA administrative healthcare database. Crude and adjusted unplanned hospitalization rates were estimated in 3 periods (pre-intervention: 2005-2008, intervention: 2009-2010, post-intervention: 2011-2014). Multivariable negative binomial models estimated trends in quarterly hospitalization rates among individuals at risk during each period using a piecewise linear spline for time, adjusted for time-dependent and time-fixed covariates.

RESULTS: The pre-intervention, intervention, and post-intervention periods included 117,061, 107,347, and 121,871 older adults and had crude hospitalization rates of 146.2 (95% CI: 142.2-150.3), 146.8 (95% CI: 143.6-150.0), and 140.8 (95% CI: 136.9-144.7) per 1000 persons per year, respectively. The adjusted pre-intervention hospitalization rate was declining by 0.7% per quarter (IRR = 0.993; 95% CI: 0.991-0.995). The hospitalization rate declined more than twice as fast during the intervention period (1.8% per quarter, IRR = 0.982; 95% CI: 0.979-0.985) and was nearly constant post-intervention (IRR: 0.999; 95% CI: 0.997-1.001). Contrasting model predictions for the intervention period (Q1 2009 to Q4 2010), the intervention was associated with 1481 avoided hospitalizations.

CONCLUSION: In a large population of older adults, a multimodal general practitioner-focused intervention to decrease PIM use was associated with a decline in the unplanned hospitalization rate. Such interventions to reduce high risk medication use among older adults warrant consideration by health systems seeking to improve health outcomes and reduce high-cost acute care utilization.


Hospitalizations, Older adults, Prescribing

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© The Author(s). 2021 Open Access: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

DOI of Published Version



Alcusky M, Thomas RB, Jafari N, Keith SW, Kee A, Del Canale S, Lombardi M, Maio V. Reduction in unplanned hospitalizations associated with a physician focused intervention to reduce potentially inappropriate medication use among older adults: a population-based cohort study. BMC Geriatr. 2021 Mar 31;21(1):218. doi: 10.1186/s12877-021-02172-3. PMID: 33789589; PMCID: PMC8011227. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

BMC geriatrics

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.