Attitudinal predictors of older peoples' and caregivers' desire to deprescribe in hospital

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Deprescribing is a partnership between practitioners, patients and caregivers. External characteristics including age, comorbidities and polypharmacy are poor predictors of attitude towards deprescribing. This hospital-based study aimed to describe the desire of patients and caregivers to be involved in medicine decision-making, and identify attitudinal predictors of desire to try stopping a medicine.

Patients and caregivers recruited from seven Older People’s Medicine wards across two UK hospitals completed the revised Patients’Attitudes Towards Deprescribing (rPATD) questionnaire. Patients prescribed polypharmacy and caregivers involved in medication decision-making of such patients were eligible. A target of 150 patients and caregivers provided a 95% confidence interval of ±11.0% or smaller around rPATD item agreement. Descriptive statistics characterised participants and rPATD responses. Responses to items regarding desire to be involved in medication decision-making and desire to try stopping a medicine were used to address the aims. Binary logistic regression provided the adjusted odds ratios (OR) for predictors of desire to try stopping a medicine.

Patient participants (N=75) were a median (IQ) 87.0 (83.0, 90.0) years old and the median (IQ) number of pre-admission medication was 8.0 (6.0, 10.0). Caregiver participants (N=76) were a median (IQ) 70.0 (57.0, 83.0) years old and the majority were a spouse (63.2%). For patients and caregivers respectively, the following were reported: 58.7% and 65.8% wanted to be involved in medication decision-making; 29.3% and 43.5% reported a desire to try stopping a medicine. Attitudinal predictors of low desire to try stopping a medicine for patients and caregivers are a perception that there are no unnecessary prescribed medicines [OR=0.179 (patients) and 0.044 (caregivers)] and no desire for dose reduction [OR=0.199 (patients) and 0.024 (caregivers)]. A perception of not being prescribed too many medicines also predicted low patient desire to try stopping a medicine [OR=0.195].

A substantial proportion of patients and caregivers did not want to be involved medication decision-making, however this should not result in practitioners dismissing deprescribing opportunities. The three diagnostic indicators for establishing desire to try stopping a medicine are perceived necessity of the medicine, appropriateness of the number prescribed medications and a desire for dose reduction.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019

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