The effect of SENATOR (Software ENgine for the Assessment and optimisation of drug and non-drug Therapy in Older peRsons) on incident adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in an older hospital cohort: Trial Protocol

Amanda H Lavan, Denis O'Mahony, Paul Gallagher, Richard Fordham, Evelyn Flanagan, Darren Dahly, Stephen Byrne, Mirko Petrovic, Adalsteinn Gudmundsson, Ólafur Samuelsson, Antonio Cherubini, Alfonso J. Cruz-Jentoft, Roy L. Soiza, Joseph A Eustace (Corresponding Author)

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The aim of this trial is to evaluate the effect of SENATOR software on incident, adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in older, multimorbid, hospitalized patients. The SENATOR software produces a report designed to optimize older patients’ current prescriptions by applying the published STOPP and START criteria, highlighting drug-drug and drug-disease interactions and providing non-pharmacological recommendations aimed at reducing the risk of incident delirium.

We will conduct a multinational, pragmatic, parallel arm Prospective Randomized Open-label, Blinded Endpoint (PROBE) controlled trial. Patients with acute illnesses are screened for recruitment within 48 h of arrival to hospital and enrolled if they meet the relevant entry criteria. Participants’ medical history, current prescriptions, select laboratory tests, electrocardiogram, cognitive status and functional status are collected and entered into a dedicated trial database. Patients are individually randomized with equal allocation ratio. Randomization is stratified by site and medical versus surgical admission, and uses random block sizes. Patients randomized to either arm receive standard routine pharmaceutical clinical care as it exists in each site. Additionally, in the intervention arm an individualized SENATOR-generated medication advice report based on the participant’s clinical and medication data is placed in their medical record and a senior medical staff member is requested to review it and adopt any of its recommendations that they judge appropriate. The trial’s primary outcome is the proportion of patients experiencing at least one adjudicated probable or certain, non-trivial ADR, during the index hospitalization, assessed at 14 days post-randomization or at index hospital discharge if it occurs earlier. Potential ADRs are identified retrospectively by the site researchers who complete a Potential Endpoint Form (one per type of event) that is adjudicated by a blinded, expert committee. All occurrences of 12 pre-specified events, which represent the majority of ADRs, are reported to the committee along with other suspected ADRs. Participants are followed up 12 (+/− 4) weeks post-index hospital discharge to assess medication quality and healthcare utilization.

This is the first clinical trial to examine the effectiveness of a software intervention on incident ADRs and associated healthcare costs during hospitalization in older people with multi-morbidity and polypharmacy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number40
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

This work is sponsored by University College Cork, Cork Ireland and funded by the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme Grant Agreement no. Health-F2–2012-305930. Neither the funder nor the sponsor had no direct role in the design, conduct or reporting of this trial.

The datasets used and/or analyses during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request as circumstances allow.


  • adverse drug reactions
  • randomized controlled trial
  • older adults
  • hospitalization
  • computer software
  • intervention study
  • medication alert systems
  • polypharmacy
  • multimorbidity
  • Medication alert systems
  • Computer software
  • Hospitalization
  • Adverse drug reactions
  • Older adults
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Multimorbidity
  • Intervention study
  • Polypharmacy
  • RISK


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