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Older Patient and Caregiver Perspectives on Medication Value and Deprescribing: A Qualitative Study.

Pickering AN, Hamm ME, Dawdani A, Hanlon JT, Thorpe CT, Gellad WF, Radomski TR. Older Patient and Caregiver Perspectives on Medication Value and Deprescribing: A Qualitative Study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2020 Apr 1; 68(4):746-753.

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OBJECTIVES: Shared decision making is essential to deprescribing unnecessary or harmful medications in older adults, yet patients'' and caregivers'' perspectives on medication value and how this affects their willingness to discontinue a medication are poorly understood. We sought to identify the most significant factors that impact the perceived value of a medication from the perspective of patients and caregivers. DESIGN: Qualitative study using focus groups conducted in September and October 2018. SETTING: Participants from the Pepper Geriatric Research Registry (patients) and the Pitt+Me Registry (caregivers) maintained by the University of Pittsburgh. PARTICIPANTS: Six focus groups of community-dwelling adults aged 65?years or older, or their caregivers, prescribed five or more medications in the preceding 12?months. MEASUREMENTS: We sought to identify (1) general views on medication value and what makes medication worth taking; (2) how specific features such as cost or side effects impact perceived value; and (3) reactions to clinical scenarios related to deprescribing. RESULTS: We identified four themes. Perceived effectiveness was the primary factor that caused participants to consider a medication to be of high value. Participants considered a medication to be of low value if it adversely affected quality of life. Participants also cited cost when determining value, especially if it resulted in material sacrifices. Participants valued medications prescribed by providers with whom they had good relationships rather than valuing level of training. When presented with clinical scenarios, participants ably weighed these factors when determining the value of a medication and indicated whether they would adhere to a deprescribing recommendation. CONCLUSION: We identified that perceived effectiveness, adverse effects on quality of life, cost, and a strong relationship with the prescriber influenced patients'' and caregivers'' views on medication value. These findings will enable prescribers to engage older patients in shared decision making when deprescribing unnecessary medications and will allow health systems to incorporate patient-centered assessment of value into systems-based deprescribing interventions. J Am Geriatr Soc 68:746-753, 2020.

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