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Prescribing patterns for medical treatment of suspected prostatic obstruction: a longitudinal register-based study of the Scottish Health and Social Care Open Data

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
  • Federico Andreis
  • Richard Bryant
  • Emanuele Giorgi
  • Andrea E. Williamson
  • Ashleigh Ward
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>15/02/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>BMJ Open
Issue number2
Volume11
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date15/02/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Background The diagnosis of lower urinary tract symptoms related to suspected bladder outflow obstruction from benign prostate hyperplasia/enlargement in men is increasing. This is leading to high demand on healthcare services; however, there is limited knowledge of differences in pharmacotherapy prescribing for this condition based on geography.

Objective To investigate potential variation in drug prescribing for suspected bladder outflow obstruction in Scotland, based on analysis of publicly available data, to identify trends and inform future prescribing.

Study design A longitudinal register-based data study of prescribing and patient data publicly available from Scottish registries. All information is available as monthly aggregates at the level of single general practices.

Setting and participants 903 (97%) general practices in Scotland, over a 50-month period (October 2015 to November 2019).

Outcome measurements and statistical analysis We analysed numbers of daily doses of drugs for suspected bladder outflow obstruction prescribed per month using a Bayesian Poisson regression analysis, incorporating random effects to account for spatial and temporal elements.

Results Prescriptions for suspected bladder outflow obstruction medications increased during the observation period (overall average rate of change 1.24±0.28, ranging from 0.893 in Orkney to 1.95 in Lanarkshire). While some determinants of health inequality regarding prescribing practices across health boards are consistent with those known from the literature, other inequalities remain unexplained after accounting for practice-specific and patient-specific characteristics such as deprivation and rurality.

Conclusions Inequalities in prescribing for suspected bladder outflow obstruction medications exist in Scotland, partially ascribable to accepted sociodemographic and geographic factors.