Reducing potentially inappropriate medications in palliative cancer patients: evidence to support deprescribing approaches

Lindsay, Julian, Dooley, Michael, Martin, Jennifer, Fay, Michael, Kearney, Alison and Barras, Michael (2014) Reducing potentially inappropriate medications in palliative cancer patients: evidence to support deprescribing approaches. Supportive Care in Cancer, 22 4: 1113-1119. doi:10.1007/s00520-013-2098-7


Author Lindsay, Julian
Dooley, Michael
Martin, Jennifer
Fay, Michael
Kearney, Alison
Barras, Michael
Title Reducing potentially inappropriate medications in palliative cancer patients: evidence to support deprescribing approaches
Journal name Supportive Care in Cancer   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0941-4355
1433-7339
Publication date 2014-04-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1007/s00520-013-2098-7
Volume 22
Issue 4
Start page 1113
End page 1119
Total pages 7
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objectives Cancer patients who have transitioned from curative intent chemotherapy or radiotherapy to palliative therapy have limited life expectancies. Due to this, medications for primary and secondary prevention or those with no short-term benefit are potentially inappropriate medicines in this patient group. These medications often have potentially harmful profiles, increasing the patient’s adverse drug events, pill burden, and medication costs. This review evaluates the most current evidence to assess the outcomes and potential methods used for identifying and ceasing potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) in palliative cancer patients.
Methods A systematic review of the literature was conducted using the databases Ovid MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE, IPA, and CINAHL.
Results Of the 51 articles examined in detail, three studies relating to cancer have been evaluated. In these retrospective and cross-sectional studies, the incidence of PIMs was shown in approximately 20 % of patients, although the studies were
inconsistent. In addition, six studies were identified that demonstrated the evidence in other population groups; these studies have been selected to establish the evidence in large-scale retrospective studies, prospective cross-sectional studies, both demonstrating the prevalence of PIMs, as well as the outcomes of ceasing PIMs.
Conclusion There is evidence that PIMs are commonly prescribed in palliative care patients. There are no studies that have identified the impact of ceasing PIMS in this setting. Published tools and implemented strategies have focused on the elderly populations. Further research is warranted in establishing clear guidelines for the identification of PIMs in palliative cancer patients as well as interventional studies assessing the outcomes of ceasing PIMs in these patients.
Keyword Deprescribing
Drug therapy
Potentially inappropriate medications
Medical futility
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online 21 December 2013

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
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