Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Veterans Crisis Line Badge
Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Pruskowski JA, Springer S, Thorpe CT, Klein-Fedyshin M, Handler SM. Does Deprescribing Improve Quality of Life? A Systematic Review of the Literature. Drugs & aging. 2019 Dec 1; 36(12):1097-1110.
PubMed logo Search for Abstract from PubMed
(This link leaves the website of VA HSR&D.)

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Deprescribing has been shown to reduce potentially inappropriate or unnecessary medications; however, whether these benefits translate into improved quality of life (QOL) is uncertain. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to isolate the impact of deprescribing on patient or designated representative reported QOL; satisfaction with care (SWC) and emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations were also investigated to further explore this question. METHODS: This systematic review searched the Cochrane Library, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health (CINAHL), MEDLINE, and EMBASE from database inception until November 2017. Randomized controlled trials and non-randomized prospective studies of older adults ( > 65 years or older) and older persons with life-limiting conditions were included. Two reviewers independently assessed the search results and performed risk of bias assessments. Data on QOL, SWC, and ED visits and hospitalizations were extracted from all identified studies. Risk of bias of individual studies was assessed using measures recommended by the Cochrane Collaboration. RESULTS: Screening of 6543 eligible records identified 12 studies within 13 articles. In ten studies investigating the reduction of at least one medication deprescribed, compared with usual care, all but two found no difference in QOL. To date there has only been one study examining the impact of deprescribing on SWC, which was found to be not statistically significant. Four studies exploring the impact of deprescribing on ED visits and hospitalizations also found no significant difference. However, many studies were found to have a higher performance, detection, or other bias. We found considerable heterogeneity in patient populations, targeted medications for deprescribing, and QOL measurements used in these studies. CONCLUSION: Based on a limited number of studies with varying methodological rigor, deprescribing may not significantly improve QOL or SWC; however, it may not contribute to additional ED visits and hospitalizations. Future controlled studies are needed.

Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.