One-year evaluation of a targeted medication therapy management intervention for older adults

Ashley I. Martinez, Erin L. Abner, Gregory A. Jicha, Dorinda N. Rigsby, Lynne C. Eckmann, Mark J. Huffmyer, Daniela C. Moga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Older adults are especially susceptible to adverse effects of inappropriate medication therapy, and anticholinergic medications are common culprits for cognitive dysfunction due to their action on the central nervous system. Medication therapy management (MTM) interventions can aid in deprescribing and reducing inappropriate medication use in older adults. However, there is sparse literature on the long-term sustainability of these interventions. OBJECTIVES: To (a) investigate whether the deprescribing of anticholinergic medications during an 8-week randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a targeted MTM intervention is sustained at 1-year postintervention follow-up and (b) compare anticholinergic utilization trends in the study population with a large sample of similar individuals not exposed to the intervention. METHODS: Participants in the targeted MTM (tMTM) RCT had normal cognition or mild cognitive impairment and were recruited from enrollees in a longitudinal study at the University of Kentucky Alzheimer’s Disease Center (ADC) and thus have pertinent medical information gathered approximately annually. In this posttrial observational follow-up, sustainability of the anticholinergic deprescribing intervention was assessed in participants in the RCT, and anticholinergic medication use trends were described from the RCT baseline (which occurred immediately following an ADC visit) to the next annual visit in all participants. Mean change in anticholinergic burden from RCT baseline to the next annual visit was estimated using analysis of covariance, and participants were compared with 2 external samples. Anticholinergic burden was measured using the Anticholinergic Drug Scale (ADS). The odds of decreasing baseline anticholinergic burden and number of total and strong anticholinergic medications at the follow-up study time point was assessed using logistic regression. RESULTS: Of the deprescribing changes made during the initial RCT, 50% were sustained after 1 year. Participants in the tMTM trial reported decreases in the use of anticholinergic antihistamines and bladder agents (−6.5 and −4.4%, respectively), but there was no change in the use of anticholinergic agents targeted at the central nervous system. While the anticholinergic burden of RCT participants decreased over 1 year (adjusted mean ADS change [95% CI]=−0.33 [−0.72, 0.07]), it was not different than the change observed in 2 external samples at the trial center (−0.20 [−0.42, 0.02]) and nationally (−0.33 [−0.39, −0.26]). There were no statistically significant differences between trial participants and external samples in the odds of decreasing anticholinergic burden nor in decreasing the number of total, or strongly anticholinergic, medications at the 1-year follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that the sustainability of deprescribing is limited to the period of intervention, rather than affording lasting effects even over periods as short as 1 year, which was demonstrated not only in the small group of RCT participants but also by comparison with external groups. Future work should extend the duration of intervention and follow-up periods for MTM interventions to allow further insights regarding the sustainability of deprescribing efforts in older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-528
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center (NACC) database is funded by National Institute on Aging (NIA)/National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grant U01 AG016976. NACC data are contributed by the NIA-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Centers (ADCs): P30 AG019610 (PI Eric Reiman, MD), P30 AG013846 (PI Neil Kowall, MD), P50 AG008702 (PI Scott Small, MD), P50 AG025688 (PI Allan Levey, MD, PhD), P50 AG047266 (PI Todd Golde, MD, PhD), P30 AG010133 (PI Andrew Saykin, PsyD), P50 AG005146 (PI Marilyn Albert, PhD), P50 AG005134 (PI Bradley Hyman, MD, PhD), P50 AG016574 (PI Ronald Petersen, MD, PhD), P50 AG005138 (PI Mary Sano, PhD), P30 AG008051 (PI Thomas Wisniewski, MD), P30 AG013854 (PI M. Marsel Mesulam, MD), P30 AG008017 (PI Jeffrey Kaye, MD), P30 AG010161 (PI David Bennett, MD), P50 AG047366 (PI Victor Henderson, MD, MS), P30 AG010129 (PI Charles DeCarli, MD), P50 AG016573 (PI Frank LaFerla, PhD), P50 AG005131 (PI James Brewer, MD, PhD), P50 AG023501 (PI Bruce Miller, MD), P30 AG035982 (PI Russell Swerdlow, MD), P30 AG028383 (PI Linda Van Eldik, PhD), P30 AG053760 (PI Henry Paulson, MD, PhD), P30 AG010124 (PI John Trojanowski, MD, PhD), P50 AG005133 (PI Oscar Lopez, MD), P50 AG005142 (PI Helena Chui, MD), P30 AG012300 (PI Roger Rosenberg, MD), P30 AG049638 (PI Suzanne Craft, PhD), P50 AG005136 (PI Thomas Grabowski, MD), P50 AG033514 (PI Sanjay Asthana, MD, FRCP), P50 AG005681 (PI John Morris, MD), P50 AG047270 (PI Stephen Strittmatter, MD, PhD).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020, Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Health Policy


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