This study addresses an important translational gap, testing an intervention (SPACE) designed to prompt medicines review and support safer prescribing in routine practice. SPACE comprises an audit to identify and generate for each GP a list of patients with high-risk prescribing, educational and a one-on-one session for each GP to go through with the pharmacist their list of patients with high-risk prescribing, and a tick-box for GPs to indicate their intended action for each patient (letter to the patient, no action, change medicines).

This cluster randomized controlled trial in general practices in the Auckland and Northland regions of New Zealand is testing the effect of the Safer Prescribing And Care for the Elderly (SPACE) intervention on the rate of high-risk prescribing of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and antiplatelet medicines, and related adverse drug event hospitalizations.

High-risk prescribing, adverse drug events and avoidable adverse drug event hospitalizations are increasingly common as more people are taking more medicines for multiple long-term conditions. The most effective, cost-effective, and practical approach to safer prescribing in routine practice is not yet known. If SPACE is shown to be effective and cost-effective it could be rolled out nationally and used routinely in practices to improve the safety of prescribing.

UQ Researchers

Associate Professor Katharine Wallis

Associate Professor Katharine Wallis

Acting Head & Associate Professor
Primary Care Clinical Unit

Collborators

Dr Raina Elley
Associate Professor & Honorary Academic
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
The University of Auckland

Jo Hikaka 
PhD Candidate 
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
The University of Auckland

Professor Ngaire Kerse
Chair, Ageing Well
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
The University of Auckland

Dr Arier Lee
Biostatistician
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
The University of Auckland

Simon Moyes
Data Manager/Analyst
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
The University of Auckland