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NS Cochrane Resource Centre Spotlight
Researchers from Dalhousie University and University College Cork in Ireland have recently published a systematic review that assessed the impact of the STOPP (Screening Tool of Older Person's Prescriptions) and START (Screening Tool to Alert Doctors to Right Treatment) screening tools. The tools, consisting of 65 and 22 criteria respectively, were developed in Ireland in 2007 to facilitate the systematic screening for potentially inappropriate drug prescribing in older persons.
Barbara Hill-Taylor and Dr. Ingrid Sketris (College of Pharmacy), Dr. Jill Hayden (NSCRC, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology) and Russell Christie (Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine) represented Dalhousie University in the research and writing of the paper.
Dr. Stephen Byrne and David O’Sullivan of the School of Pharmacy, University College Cork were their essential international collaborators.
Stephen Byrne and David Sullivan’s work with the STOPP/START has been extensive, and the Halifax team was able to leverage their expertise and insights for both the systematic review and the start of applicaTIon of STOPP/START criteria in Nova Scotia. Dr. Hayden’s expertise in systematic reviews helped guide the review. This was both Russell Christie’s and Barbara Hill-Taylor’s ﬁrst systematic review, and they were able to learn practical and technical skills.
The international aspect of this research led to few signiﬁcant challenges – beyond those that are inherent in any systematic review. Most were easily solved through the internet, with tools such as Google docs and Skype aiding communications with regards to the development of collaborative documents and discussions related to the context of provision of health care in speciﬁc countries. The week prior to the publication of the review, Dr. Byrne arrived in Halifax as Dalhousie’s ﬁrst Dobbin Scholar, and except for David O’Sullivan, the whole group was ﬁnally able meet in person. Check out the article.