Effects of a pilot multidisciplinary clinic for frequent attending elderly patients on deprescribing

Mudge, Alison, Radnedge, Katherine, Kasper, Karen, Mullins, Robert, Adsett, Julie, Rofail, Serena, Lloyd, Sophie and Barras, Michael (2016) Effects of a pilot multidisciplinary clinic for frequent attending elderly patients on deprescribing. Australian Health Review, 40 1: 86-91. doi:10.1071/AH14219

Author Mudge, Alison
Radnedge, Katherine
Kasper, Karen
Mullins, Robert
Adsett, Julie
Rofail, Serena
Lloyd, Sophie
Barras, Michael
Title Effects of a pilot multidisciplinary clinic for frequent attending elderly patients on deprescribing
Journal name Australian Health Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0156-5788
Publication date 2016
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/AH14219
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 40
Issue 1
Start page 86
End page 91
Total pages 6
Place of publication Clayton, VIC Australia
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective Multimorbidity and associated polypharmacy are risk factors for hospital re-admission. The Targeting Hospitalization Risks in Vulnerable Elders (THRIVE) clinic is a novel multidisciplinary out-patient clinic to improve transitions of care and decrease re-admission risk for older medical patients with frequent hospital admissions. This pilot study examined the effect of the THRIVE model on medication count, tablet load and potentially inappropriate medicines (PIMs).

Methods Participants with frequent medical admissions were referred within 2 weeks of discharge from hospital and assessed at baseline and then at 4 and 12 weeks by the THRIVE team. A thorough reconciliation of all medications was performed collaboratively by a clinical pharmacist and a physician. Optimising medications, including deprescribing, was in collaboration with the participants’ general practitioner. The complete medication history of each patient was compared retrospectively by an independent assessor at baseline and after the 12-week clinic, comparing total number of regular medications, tablet load and PIMs (measured using the Screening Tool of Older Persons Prescriptions (STOPP) tool).

Results All 17 participants attending the pilot THRIVE clinic were included in the study. At 12 weeks, there was a significant reduction in mean medication count (from 14.3 to 11.2 medications; P < 0.001) and mean tablet load (from 20.5 to 16.9 tablets; P < 0.01). There was an absolute reduction in the total number of PIMs from 38 to 14. Common medications deprescribed included opioids, tricyclic antidepressants, benzodiazepines and diuretics.

Conclusions Patients who attended the THRIVE clinic had a significant reduction in medication count and tablet load. The pilot study demonstrates the potential benefits of a multidisciplinary out-patient clinic to improve prescribing and reduce unwarranted medications in an elderly population. An adequately powered comparative study would allow assessment of clinical outcomes and costs.

What is known about the topic? Elderly patients are prone to polypharmacy. The identification and deprescribing of potentially inappropriate medications is effective in reducing adverse drug events in this population. However, acute hospitalisation is not always the ideal setting to initiate deprescribing.

What does the paper add? Intensive multidisciplinary out-patient care for frequently re-admitted patients optimises their medication management plan and helps reduce the use of unwarranted medications.

What are the implications for practitioners? Effective deprescribing in elderly patients can be achieved after hospital discharge using a multidisciplinary collaborative model, but costs and clinical benefits require further investigation.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
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