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Qualitative insights into general practitioners' views on polypharmacy

Sibyl Anthierens UGent, ANNELEEN TANSENS, Mirko Petrovic UGent and Thierry Christiaens UGent (2010) BMC FAMILY PRACTICE. 11.
abstract
BACKGROUND: Polypharmacy is common among older people. The purpose of this study is to describe GPs' views and beliefs on polypharmacy in order to identify the role of the GP in relation to improving prescribing behaviour. The awareness of these often established beliefs is key for understanding behaviour and promoting change which can guide action towards more rational prescribing. METHODS: A qualitative descriptive methodology was used with semi-structured interviews. Interviews were conducted with 65 GPs from the region of Aalst, a district of a mixed urban and rural population in Belgium. The aim of the study was to describe the GPs' perspectives on polypharmacy in primary care. RESULTS: GPs acknowledge that polypharmacy is a problem in their older patient population, especially because of the risk of adverse drug reactions, interactions and lowered adherence. GPs mention that difficulties in keeping an overview of the exact medication intake is an important problem caused by polypharmacy. The patients' strong belief in their medication and self-medication are seen as important barriers in reducing the number of drugs taken. Next to these patient related factors, there are some factors related to the prescriber, such as the lack of regular evaluation of the medication schedule by GPs and the involvement of several prescribers, especially in a hospital setting. According to the respondents, prevention and evidence based medicine guidelines often induce polypharmacy. CONCLUSIONS: GPs point out that polypharmacy is an important problem in their older patient population. They see an important role for themselves in optimizing drug regimens for their patients. However, they do not have a readymade solution for polypharmacy. The limited set of options for addressing polypharmacy leave GPs feeling powerless to tackle the problem. There is a need for simple GP friendly tools and access to pharmacotherapeutic advice. Future research in this area and interventions seeking to improve prescribing for the elderly will have to focus on practical tools and take into account the GPs' sense of helplessness.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
PHARMACIST, POPULATION, HEALTH, ADVERSE DRUG EVENTS, ELDERLY-PEOPLE, CARE PATIENTS, PRESCRIPTION, INTERVENTION
journal title
BMC FAMILY PRACTICE
BMC Fam. Pract.
volume
11
article number
65
pages
6 pages
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000282772900001
JCR category
MEDICINE, GENERAL & INTERNAL
JCR impact factor
1.467 (2010)
JCR rank
58/151 (2010)
JCR quartile
2 (2010)
ISSN
1471-2296
DOI
10.1186/1471-2296-11-65
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have retained and own the full copyright for this publication
id
1062268
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-1062268
date created
2010-10-21 17:12:43
date last changed
2017-03-07 12:11:58
@article{1062268,
  abstract     = {BACKGROUND: Polypharmacy is common among older people. The purpose of this study is to describe GPs' views and beliefs on polypharmacy in order to identify the role of the GP in relation to improving prescribing behaviour. The awareness of these often established beliefs is key for understanding behaviour and promoting change which can guide action towards more rational prescribing.
METHODS: A qualitative descriptive methodology was used with semi-structured interviews. Interviews were conducted with 65 GPs from the region of Aalst, a district of a mixed urban and rural population in Belgium. The aim of the study was to describe the GPs' perspectives on polypharmacy in primary care.
RESULTS: GPs acknowledge that polypharmacy is a problem in their older patient population, especially because of the risk of adverse drug reactions, interactions and lowered adherence. GPs mention that difficulties in keeping an overview of the exact medication intake is an important problem caused by polypharmacy. The patients' strong belief in their medication and self-medication are seen as important barriers in reducing the number of drugs taken. Next to these patient related factors, there are some factors related to the prescriber, such as the lack of regular evaluation of the medication schedule by GPs and the involvement of several prescribers, especially in a hospital setting. According to the respondents, prevention and evidence based medicine guidelines often induce polypharmacy.
CONCLUSIONS: GPs point out that polypharmacy is an important problem in their older patient population. They see an important role for themselves in optimizing drug regimens for their patients. However, they do not have a readymade solution for polypharmacy. The limited set of options for addressing polypharmacy leave GPs feeling powerless to tackle the problem. There is a need for simple GP friendly tools and access to pharmacotherapeutic advice. Future research in this area and interventions seeking to improve prescribing for the elderly will have to focus on practical tools and take into account the GPs' sense of helplessness.},
  articleno    = {65},
  author       = {Anthierens, Sibyl and TANSENS, ANNELEEN and Petrovic, Mirko and Christiaens, Thierry},
  issn         = {1471-2296},
  journal      = {BMC FAMILY PRACTICE},
  keyword      = {PHARMACIST,POPULATION,HEALTH,ADVERSE DRUG EVENTS,ELDERLY-PEOPLE,CARE PATIENTS,PRESCRIPTION,INTERVENTION},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {6},
  title        = {Qualitative insights into general practitioners' views on polypharmacy},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2296-11-65},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2010},
}

Chicago
Anthierens, Sibyl, ANNELEEN TANSENS, Mirko Petrovic, and Thierry Christiaens. 2010. “Qualitative Insights into General Practitioners’ Views on Polypharmacy.” Bmc Family Practice 11.
APA
Anthierens, S., TANSENS, A., Petrovic, M., & Christiaens, T. (2010). Qualitative insights into general practitioners’ views on polypharmacy. BMC FAMILY PRACTICE, 11.
Vancouver
1.
Anthierens S, TANSENS A, Petrovic M, Christiaens T. Qualitative insights into general practitioners’ views on polypharmacy. BMC FAMILY PRACTICE. 2010;11.
MLA
Anthierens, Sibyl, ANNELEEN TANSENS, Mirko Petrovic, et al. “Qualitative Insights into General Practitioners’ Views on Polypharmacy.” BMC FAMILY PRACTICE 11 (2010): n. pag. Print.