The PIPc Study-application of indicators of potentially inappropriate prescribing in children (PIPc) to a national prescribing database in Ireland: a cross-sectional prevalence study.

OBJECTIVES: Evidence is limited regarding the quality of prescribing to children. The objective of this study was to apply a set of explicit prescribing indicators to a national pharmacy claims database (Primary Care Reimbursement Service) to determine the prevalence of potentially inappropriate prescribing in children (PIPc) in primary care.

PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOMES MEASURES: To determine the overall prevalence of potentially inappropriate prescribing (PIP) in children in primary care. To examine the prevalence of PIPc by gender.

DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-sectional study. Application of indicators of commission of PIP and omission of appropriate prescribing to a national prescribing database in Ireland.

PARTICIPANTS: Eligible children2014.

RESULTS: Overall prevalence of PIPc by commission was 3.5% (95% CI 3.5% to 3.6%) of eligible children2.5% (95% CI 2.5% to 2.6%) which rose to 11.5% (95% CI 11.4% to 11.7%) when prescribing of spacer devices for children with asthma was included. The most common individual PIPc by commission was the prescribing of carbocisteine to children (3.3% of eligible children). The most common PIPc by omission (after excluding spacer devices) was failure to prescribe an emollient to children prescribed greater than one topical corticosteroid (54% of eligible children). PIPc by omission was significantly higher in males compared with females (relative risk (RR) 1.3; 95% CI 1.0 to 1.7) but no different for PIPc by commission (RR 1.0; 95% CI 0.7 to 1.6).

CONCLUSION: This study shows that the overall prevalence of PIP in children is low, although results suggest room for improved adherence to asthma guidelines.