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Deprescribing in the Context of Multiple Providers: Understanding Patient Preferences

Amy Linsky, MD, MSc; Mark Meterko, PhD; Barbara G. Bokhour, PhD; Kelly Stolzmann, MS; and Steven R. Simon, MD, MPH
Deprescribing could reduce the risk of harm from inappropriate medications. Understanding patient attitudes regarding which clinicians can make deprescribing recommendations can facilitate effective design and implementation of interventions.
ABSTRACT

Objectives: Deprescribing could reduce the risk of harm from inappropriate medications. We characterized patients’ acceptance of deprescribing recommendations from pharmacists, primary care providers (PCPs), and specialists relative to the original prescriber’s professional background.

Study Design: Secondary analysis of national Patient Perceptions of Discontinuation survey responses from Veterans Affairs (VA) primary care patients with 5 or more prescriptions.

Methods: We created 4 relative deprescribing authority (RDA) outcome groups from responses to 2 yes/no (Y/N) items: (1) “Imagine…a specialist…prescribed a medicine. Would you be comfortable if your PCP told you to stop...it?” and (2) “Imagine…your VA PCP prescribed a medicine. Would you be comfortable if a VA clinical pharmacist [Pharm] told you to stop…it?” Multinomial regression associated patient factors with RDA.

Results: Respondents (n = 803; adjusted response rate, 52%) were predominantly men (85%) and older than 65 years (60%). A total of 281 (38%) respondents said no to both questions (PCP-N/Pharm-N) and 146 (20%) said yes to both (PCP-Y/Pharm-Y). A total of 155 (21%) said no to a PCP stopping a specialist’s medicine but yes to a pharmacist stopping a PCP’s (PCP-N/Pharm-Y). A total of 153 (21%) said that a PCP could stop a specialist’s medication but a pharmacist could not stop a PCP’s (PCP-Y/Pharm-N). In adjusted models (reference, PCP-N/Pharm-N), those with greater medication concerns were more likely to respond PCP-Y/Pharm-Y (odds ratio [OR], 1.45; 95% CI, 1.09-1.92). Those with more interest in shared decision making were more likely to respond PCP-N/Pharm-Y (OR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.04-1.92). Those with greater trust in their PCP were less likely to respond PCP-N/Pharm-Y (OR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.34-0.81) but more likely to respond PCP-Y/Pharm-N (OR, 2.16; 95% CI, 1.31-3.56) or PCP-Y/Pharm-Y (OR, 1.83; 95% CI, 1.13-2.98).

Conclusions: Understanding patient preferences of RDA can facilitate effective design and implementation of deprescribing interventions.

Am J Manag Care. 2019;25(4):192-198

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