Using published criteria to develop a list of potentially inappropriate medications for elderly patients in Taiwan


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D.-C. Chan, Department of Geriatrics and Gerontology, National Taiwan University, Hospital, No. 7 Zhongshan South Road, Taipei, Taiwan, 100. E–mail:;



Explicit criteria for potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) developed from other regions were often difficult to apply to a specific territory without significant modifications.


To describe a process of developing a country-specific explicit PIM criteria from quality review of several published PIM criteria, followed by consensus among regional experts in Taiwan.


After a review of the literature, we selected seven sets of published PIM criteria. Medications/medication classes listed in at least three of the seven sets of criteria were selected as preliminary core PIMs. We asked a group of 21 experts from various specialties to rate how appropriate they found inclusion of each medication/medication class in final PIM criteria after two rounds of modified Delphi methods.


Table 1 of the instrument included 24 medication/medication classes to be generally avoided in older adults irrespective of co-morbidities, and Table 2 included 12 chronic conditions with six medication/medication classes that patients with these conditions should avoid. The Taiwan criteria contained only half the number of statements that were included in the Beers criteria (36 vs 68 statements) but detected nearly 70–75% as many PIMs in older patients with polypharmacy in a secondary data analysis. Features included straightforward statement arrangements, suggestions of alternatives, and clear definitions of long-acting benzodiazepine and anticholinergic drugs for Table 1 PIMs.


A user-friendly instrument was developed to detect PIMs for Taiwanese older adults. Further prospective studies are needed to validate its use in clinical and research settings. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.