Gayla Barker

Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The elderly population is expected to double by the year 2050; currently the elderly are the largest consumer of prescription drugs and over the counter drugs (Ortman, Velkoff & Hogan, 2014). Research shows that one-third of the medications prescribed to the elderly in the United States may be unnecessary and using multiple medications increases the risk of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in the elderly (Gokula & Holmes 2012). ADRs put a patient at higher risk of hospitalization, which increases cost and can be avoided by decreasing the number of medications prescribed and by decreasing the use of inappropriate medications in the elderly population. The elderly are more prone to adverse reactions from medications due to multiple comorbid conditions, taking multiple medications and an increased sensitivity to medications due to age related changes in their body (Clyne, Bradley, Hughes, Fahey & Lapane, 2012). Appropriate prescribing to the elderly can be challenging and can be improved by using various prescribing tools such as Beers criteria and STOPP (Screening Tool of Older Persons' potentially inappropriate Prescriptions). This paper focuses on a review of the literature that compares Beers criteria and STOPP in reducing polypharmacy in the elderly. Ten articles were reviewed that compared Beers and STOPP, the research articles reviewed were from the United States and other countries. The studies took into account various settings from hospital, emergency department, long term nursing facilities and primary care