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Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2019 Jul;75(7):969-977. doi: 10.1007/s00228-019-02649-6. Epub 2019 Mar 4.

Balancing medication use in nursing home residents with life-limiting disease.

Author information

1
End-of-Life Care Research Group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Ghent University, Laarbeeklaan 103, 1090, Brussels, Belgium. kristel.paque@ugent.be.
2
Clinical Pharmacology Research Unit, Heymans Institute of Pharmacology, Ghent University, C. Heymanslaan 10, 9000, Ghent, Belgium. kristel.paque@ugent.be.
3
Clinical Pharmacology Research Unit, Heymans Institute of Pharmacology, Ghent University, C. Heymanslaan 10, 9000, Ghent, Belgium.
4
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of Nursing Science, Centre for Research and Innovation in Care (NuPhaC), University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610, Wilrijk, Belgium.
5
End-of-Life Care Research Group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Ghent University, Laarbeeklaan 103, 1090, Brussels, Belgium.
6
Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Ghent University Hospital, C. Heymanslaan 10, 9000, Ghent, Belgium.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Balancing medications that are needed and beneficial and avoiding medications that may be harmful is important to prevent drug-related problems, and improve quality of life. The aim of this study is to describe medication use, the prevalence of deprescribing of medications suitable for deprescribing, and the prevalence of new initiation of potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) in nursing home (NH) residents with life-limiting disease in Flanders.

METHODS:

NH residents aged ≥ 65, suffering from end stage organ failure, advanced cancer, and/or dementia (n = 296), were included in this cross-sectional study with retrospective analyses of medication use at the time of data collection (t2) and 3 to 6 months before (t1). The appraisal of appropriateness of medications was done using a list of medications documented as suitable for deprescribing, and STOPPFrail criteria.

RESULTS:

Residents' (mean age 86 years, 74% female) mean number of chronic medications increased from 7.4 (t1) to 7.9 (t2). In 31% of those using medications suitable for deprescribing, at least one medication was actually deprescribed. In 30% at least one PIM from the group of selected PIMs was newly initiated. In the subgroup (n = 76) for whom deprescribing was observed, deprescribing was associated with less new initiations of PIMs (r = - 0.234, p = 0.042).

CONCLUSION:

Medication use remained high at the end of life for NH residents with life-limiting disease, and deprescribing was limited. However, in the subgroup of 76 residents for whom deprescribing was observed, less new PIMs were initiated.

KEYWORDS:

Deprescribing; Polypharmacy; Potentially inappropriate medications; Risk-benefit ratio

PMID:
30834473
DOI:
10.1007/s00228-019-02649-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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