Medication management strategy for older people with polypharmacy in general practice: a qualitative study on prescribing behaviour in primary care.
Sinnige, J., Korevaar, J.C., Lieshout, J. van, Westert, G.P., Schellevis, F.G., Braspenning, J.C.C. Medication management strategy for older people with polypharmacy in general practice: a qualitative study on prescribing behaviour in primary care. British Journal of General Practice: 2016, 66(649), e540-551
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<strong>Background</strong> For older patients with polypharmacy, medication management is a process of careful deliberation that needs periodic adjustment based on treatment effects and changing conditions. Because of the heterogeneity of the patient group, and limited applicability of current guidelines, it is difficult for GPs to build up a routine.
<strong>Aim</strong> To gain insight into GPs’ medication management strategies for patients with polypharmacy, and to explore the GPs’ perspectives and needs on decision-making support to facilitate this medication management.
<strong>Design and setting</strong> Two focus group meetings with Dutch GPs, discussing four clinical vignettes of patients with multimorbidity and polypharmacy.
Method Questions about medication management of the vignettes were answered individually; the strategy chosen in each case was discussed in plenary. Analysis followed a Framework approach.
<strong>Results</strong> In total, 12 GPs described a similar strategy regarding the patients’ medication management: defining treatment goals; determining primary goals; and adjusting medications based on the treatment effect, GPs’ and patients’ preferences, and patient characteristics. There was variation in the execution of this strategy between the GPs. The GPs would like to discuss their choices with other professionals and they valued structured medication reviews with the patient, as well as quick and practical support tools that work on demand.
<strong>Conclusion</strong> To facilitate decision making, a more extensive and structured collaboration between healthcare professionals is desired, as well as support to execute structured medication reviews with eligible patients, and some on-demand tools for individual consultations. (aut. ref.)