Facilitating conversations about deprescribing in primary care, a qualitative study

This qualitative study investigated communication strategies used in deprescribing conversations between primary care physicians and older adults. The study found that providing patients with education about the benefits and harms of their medication before they saw their family physician resulted in a greater proportion of conversation themes relating to medication use being initiated by patients (44% versus 17%). The content of deprescribing conversations for proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) revealed that patients and their healthcare providers focused less on ‘dosage/instructions’ and more on the ‘medication action and efficacy’ and the necessity for ‘follow up.’ Conversations about stopping benzodiazepines were more likely to stagnate on the ‘if’ rather than the ‘how.’ The initiation, style and content of the conversations varied between PPI and benzodiazepine users, suggesting that healthcare providers will need to tailor deprescribing conversations accordingly

Lead: Dr. Cara Tannenbaum

Co-investigators: Dr. Marie-Thérèse Lussier, Dr. Claude Richard, Dr. Barbara Farrell, Dr.Justin Turner, Université de Montréal

Contact: camille.gagnon@criugm.qc.ca

Funder (2015-2019): Canadian Institutes of Health Research


Turner JP, Richard C, Lussier MT, Lavoie ME, Farrell B, Roberge D, Tannenbaum C. Deprescribing conversations: a closer look at prescriber-patient communication. PubMed, 2018 Oct 20;9(12):687-698. doi: 10.1177/2042098618804490