Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 30, Issue 9, pp 1015–1021 | Cite as

Interactions between drugs and geriatric syndromes in nursing home and home care: results from Shelter and IBenC projects

  • Graziano OnderEmail author
  • Silvia Giovannini
  • Federica Sganga
  • Ester Manes-Gravina
  • Eva Topinkova
  • Harriet Finne-Soveri
  • Vjenka Garms-Homolová
  • Anja Declercq
  • Henriëtte G. van der Roest
  • Pálmi V. Jónsson
  • Hein van Hout
  • Roberto Bernabei
Original Article



Drugs may interact with geriatric syndromes by playing a role in the continuation, recurrence or worsening of these conditions. Aim of this study is to assess the prevalence of interactions between drugs and three common geriatric syndromes (delirium, falls and urinary incontinence) among older adults in nursing home and home care in Europe.


We performed a cross-sectional multicenter study among 4023 nursing home residents participating in the Services and Health for Elderly in Long-TERm care (Shelter) project and 1469 home care patients participating in the Identifying best practices for care-dependent elderly by Benchmarking Costs and outcomes of community care (IBenC) project. Exposure to interactions between drugs and geriatric syndromes was assessed by 2015 Beers criteria.


790/4023 (19.6%) residents in the Shelter Project and 179/1469 (12.2%) home care patients in the IBenC Project presented with one or more drug interactions with geriatric syndromes. In the Shelter project, 288/373 (77.2%) residents experiencing a fall, 429/659 (65.1%) presenting with delirium and 180/2765 (6.5%) with urinary incontinence were on one or more interacting drugs. In the IBenC project, 78/172 (45.3%) participants experiencing a fall, 80/182 (44.0%) presenting with delirium and 36/504 (7.1%) with urinary incontinence were on one or more interacting drugs.


Drug–geriatric syndromes interactions are common in long-term care patients. Future studies and interventions aimed at improving pharmacological prescription in the long-term care setting should assess not only drug–drug and drug–disease interactions, but also interactions involving geriatric syndromes.


Delirium Drugs Falls Geriatric Syndromes Interactions Tailored therapy 



The Shelter and IBenC projects were funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union. The work of ET was partly supported by the Grant no. 16-33463A Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic. IBenC data released in May 2017 were used for this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Statement of human and animal rights

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical approval and standards of the local ethics committees.

Ethical approval

Ethical approval was obtained from the ethics committees of the participating centers.

Informed consent

All participants gave written informed consent.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graziano Onder
    • 1
    Email author
  • Silvia Giovannini
    • 1
  • Federica Sganga
    • 1
  • Ester Manes-Gravina
    • 1
  • Eva Topinkova
    • 2
    • 3
  • Harriet Finne-Soveri
    • 4
  • Vjenka Garms-Homolová
    • 5
  • Anja Declercq
    • 6
  • Henriëtte G. van der Roest
    • 7
  • Pálmi V. Jónsson
    • 8
  • Hein van Hout
    • 7
  • Roberto Bernabei
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Gerontology, Neuroscience and Orthopedics, Centro Medicina dell’InvecchiamentoUniversità Cattolica del Sacro CuoreRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Geriatrics and Gerontology, 1st Faculty of MedicineCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic
  3. 3.Faculty of Health and Social SciencesUniversity of South BohemiaCeske BudejoviceCzech Republic
  4. 4.National Institute for Health and WelfareHelsinkiFinland
  5. 5.Department of Economics and LawHTW Berlin University of Applied SciencesBerlinGermany
  6. 6.LUCAS & Center for Sociological ResearchKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  7. 7.Department of General Practice and Elderly Care Medicine, Amsterdam Public Health InstituteVU University Medical CenterAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  8. 8.Department of Geriatrics, Landspitali University Hospital, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of IcelandReykjavíkIceland

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