A doctor speaking with a nursing home resident

Most nursing home residents are open to a deprescribing plan, particularly if it is proposed by their physician, say pharmacist-researchers.

In a study of 300 geriatric inpatients, outpatients and nursing home residents (162), they found that 33% of participants would like to try stopping one of their medications on their own, but a greater number — 87% — said they would be willing if their physician advised them to do so. 

The more prescriptions they had, the more study participants saw the medications as a burden, the study revealed. Participants who took 10 or more drugs had greater concerns about deprescribing and more uncertainty about drug appropriateness than their peers who took between one and four medications.

Notably, geriatric outpatients reported slightly more involvement in their medication use compared with nursing home residents.

Successful deprescribing requires insight into patients’ / residents’ thoughts about deprescribing, said Carina Lundby MScPharm, Ph.D., of the University of Southern Denmark and colleagues. Clinicians should attempt to raise awareness of deprescribing as a possibility in older individuals and tailor their deprescribing approach to each person, they concluded.

Full findings were published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.