Older people’s attitudes towards deprescribing cardiometabolic medication

Stijn Crutzen*, Jamila Abou, Sanne E. Smits, Gert Baas, Jacqueline G. Hugtenburg, Mette Heringa, Petra Denig, Katja Taxis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Overtreatment with cardiometabolic medication in older patients can lead to major adverse events. Timely deprescribing of these medications is therefore essential. Self-reported willingness to stop medication is usually high among older people, still overtreatment with cardiometabolic medication is common and deprescribing is rarely initiated. An important barrier for deprescribing reported by general practitioners is the patients’ unwillingness to stop the medication. More insights are needed into the influence of patients’ characteristics on their attitudes towards deprescribing and differences in these attitudes between cardiometabolic medication groups. Methods: A survey in older people using cardiometabolic medication using the revised Patients’ Attitudes Towards Deprescribing (rPATD) questionnaire was performed. Participants completed the general rPATD and an adapted version for four medication groups. Linear and ordinal logistic regression were used to assess the influence of age, sex, therapeutic area and number of medications used on the patients’ general attitudes towards deprescribing. Univariate analysis was used to compare differences in deprescribing attitudes towards sulfonylureas, insulins, antihypertensive medication and statins. Results: Overall, 314 out of 1143 invited participants completed the survey (median age 76 years, 54% female). Most participants (80%) were satisfied with their medication and willing to stop medications if their doctor said it was possible (88%). Age, sex and therapeutic area had no influence on the general attitudes towards deprescribing. Taking more than ten medicines was significantly associated with a higher perceived medication burden. Antihypertensive medication and insulin were considered more appropriate than statins, and insulin was considered more appropriate than sulfonylureas not favouring deprescribing. Conclusions: The majority of older people using cardiometabolic medication are willing to stop one of their medicines if their doctor said it was possible. Health care providers should take into account that patients perceive some of their medication as more appropriate than other medication when discussing deprescribing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number366
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

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