Comorbidity polypharmacy score and its clinical utility: A pragmatic practitioner's perspective

Stanislaw P. Stawicki, Sarathi Kalra, Christian Jones, Carla F. Justiniano, Thomas J. Papadimos, Sagar C. Galwankar, Scott M. Pappada, John J. Feeney, David C. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Modern medical management of comorbid conditions has resulted in escalating use of multiple medications and the emergence of the twin phenomena of multimorbidity and polypharmacy. Current understanding of how the polypharmacy in conjunction with multimorbidity influences trauma outcomes is limited, although it is known that trauma patients are at increased risk for medication-related adverse events. The comorbidity-polypharmacy score (CPS) is a simple clinical tool that quantifies the overall severity of comorbidities using the polypharmacy as a surrogate for the "intensity" of treatment necessary to adequately control chronic medical conditions. Easy to calculate, CPS is derived by counting all known pre-injury comorbid conditions and medications. CPS has been independently associated with mortality, increased risk for complications, lower functional outcomes, readmissions, and longer hospital stays. In addition, CPS may help identify older trauma patients at risk of post-emergency department undertriage. The goal of this article was to review and refine the rationale for CPS and to provide an evidence-based outline of its potential clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-231
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Emergencies, Trauma and Shock
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • Comorbidity-polypharmacy score
  • elderly trauma patient
  • estimation of frailty
  • multimorbidity
  • physiologic age
  • public health
  • world demographics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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