Date of this Version


Document Type

DNP Project


Polypharmacy is a significant healthcare issue among older adults in the United States. It is associated with an increased risk of medication errors, adverse drug interactions, adverse outcomes, and a high mortality rate. Application of polypharmacy management protocols such as the Screening Tool of Older Persons' Prescriptions (STOPP) and Screening Tool to Alert to Right Treatment (START) criteria can result in a significant reduction in polypharmacy rates among older adults. However, healthcare providers often lack knowledge and awareness of such protocols and fail to use them to improve outcomes for older adults with or at risk of polypharmacy. This project aimed to implement an educational intervention for healthcare providers to improve their awareness and application of the STOPP/START tool in practice. A total of 25 healthcare providers were recruited into the project, completed a pre/post-intervention survey, and watched an educational video. Results showed that the intervention led to an improvement in knowledge of the STOPP/START tool from 30% to 100%. Regular application of the tool in practice improved from 12% to 85%. Perceptions, behaviors, and practices concerning the application of the tool also improved with all participants answering that screening for polypharmacy should be done always or sometimes, up from 80% pre-intervention. Post-intervention 96% of the participants reported always or sometimes screening for polypharmacy up from 60% pre-intervention. The findings show that an educational intervention for healthcare providers on the use of the STOPP/START tool can improve their awareness of the tool and its application in the screening and management of polypharmacy in older adults.