Patients’ attitudes toward deprescribing and their experiences communicating with clinicians and pharmacists

Kaylee M. Lukacena, James W. Keck, Patricia Freeman, Nancy Grant Harrington, Mark J. Huffmyer, Daniela C. Moga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Developing effective deprescribing interventions relies on understanding attitudes, beliefs, and communication challenges of those involved in the deprescribing decision-making process, including the patient, the primary care clinician, and the pharmacist. The objective of this study was to assess patients’ beliefs and attitudes and identify facilitators of and barriers to deprescribing. Methods: As part of a larger study, we recruited patients ⩾18 years of age taking ⩾3 chronic medications. Participants were recruited from retail pharmacies associated with the University of Kentucky HealthCare system. They completed an electronic survey that included demographic information, questions about communication with their primary care clinician and pharmacists, and the revised Patients’ Attitudes Toward Deprescribing (rPATD) questionnaire. Results: Our analyses included 103 participants (n = 65 identified as female and n = 74 as White/Caucasian) with a mean age of 50.4 years [standard deviation (SD) = 15.5]. Participants reported taking an average of 8.4 daily medications (SD = 6.1). Most participants reported effective communication with clinicians and pharmacists (66.9%) and expressed willingness to stop one of their medications if their clinician said it was possible (83.5%). Predictors of willingness to accept deprescribing were older age [odds ratio (OR) = 2.99, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.45–6.2], college/graduate degree (OR = 55.25, 95% CI = 5.74–531.4), perceiving medications as less appropriate (OR = 8.99, 95% CI = 1.1–73.62), and perceived effectiveness of communication with the clinician or pharmacist (OR = 4.56, 95% CI = 0.85–24.35). Conclusion: Adults taking ⩾3 chronic medications expressed high willingness to accept deprescribing of medications when their doctor said it was possible. Targeted strategies to facilitate communication within the patient–primary care clinician–pharmacist triad that consider patient characteristics such as age and education level may be necessary ingredients for developing successful deprescribing interventions. Plain Language Summary: Are patients willing to accept stopping medications? Sometimes, medicines that a patient takes regularly become inappropriate. In other words, the risks of adverse effects might be greater than a medicine’s potential benefits. The decision to stop such medicines should involve the patient and consider their preferences. We surveyed a group of patients taking multiple medicines to see how they felt about having those medicines stopped. We also asked patients whether and how much they talk to their primary care clinician and pharmacists about their medicines. To qualify for this study, patients had to be at least 18 years old and to take three or more medicines daily; they also needed to speak English. Participants provided demographic information and answered questions about their medicines, their communication with primary care clinicians and pharmacists, and their feelings about having one or more of their medicines stopped. We recruited 107 people and were able to use responses from 103 of them. Their average age was 50 years; 65 of them identified as female, and 75 identified as White/Caucasian. Most of our participants mentioned having conversations with primary care clinicians and pharmacists and said they would be willing to stop a medication if their clinician said it was possible. Older participants, those with more years of education, those who thought their medications might lead to side effects, and those who communicated with their clinician or pharmacists were more willing to have one of their medicines stopped. Our results indicate that patient characteristics and communication with clinicians and pharmacists are factors to consider when designing interventions to reduce the use of inappropriate medicines.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Drug Safety
Volume13
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The project was supported by the pilot funding from the Igniting Research Collaborations Grant (University of Kentucky), the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through grant no. UL1TR001998, and the National Institute of Aging (R01AG054130). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH or NIA.

Funding Information:
The authors thank Drs Amelia L. Bradshaw, Sara L. Hamilton, Melissa L. Jackson, Megan J. Ma, Brittany N. McHolan, Bao-Han N. Nguyen, Mary Sau, Ana Vo, and Morgan Vogel for helping with data collection for this study. The authors also thank Mrs Teri Timmons and Mrs Hannah Keeler for providing administrative support for the study. The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The project was supported by the pilot funding from the Igniting Research Collaborations Grant (University of Kentucky), the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through grant no. UL1TR001998, and the National Institute of Aging (R01AG054130). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH or NIA.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), 2022.

Keywords

  • communication
  • deprescribing
  • inappropriate medications
  • patient
  • polypharmacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)

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