Background: The aim of pharmacotherapy in people at the end of life should be symptom control, more than prolonging life. Drugs for disease prevention should therefore be discouraged, but this is not the usual practice. The prevalence of unnecessary preventive drugs at the end of life is not well described, although some studies suggest it is common. Methods: This retrospective longitudinal study describes the prevalence of patients receiving preventive and symptomatic drug treatments at admission (T1) and before death (T2) in an Italian hospice. All adults admitted to the VIDAS hospice between March 2015 and February 2017 were included in the analysis. Results: The study sample comprised 589 end-of-life patients with a mean age of 75.3 (12.1) years. The mean number of drugs decreased from admission to the hospice to the time of death (mean [standard deviation]: 9.7 [3.4] and 8.7 [3.0]). All patients were appropriately treated with symptomatic drugs at T1 and T2, while there were significantly fewer patients from T1 to T2 with at least 1 preventive medication that could be considered for deprescription at the end of life (511, 86.8% and 286, 48.6%; P <.0001). Conclusions: Hospice admission can be associated with a definite reduction in the use of commonly prescribed preventive medications. However, about half of end-of-life patients can be prescribed avoidable medications. Drugs for peptic ulcer and gastroesophageal reflux disease and antithrombotics were the potentially avoidable preventive medications most frequently prescribed at admission to the hospice and before death.

Prevalence of Preventive and Symptomatic Drug Treatments in Hospice Care : An Italian Observational Study / L. Pasina, A. Recchia, P. Agosti, A. Nobili, B. Rizzi. - In: THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF HOSPICE AND PALLIATIVE CARE. - ISSN 1049-9091. - 36:3(2019), pp. 216-221. [10.1177/1049909118794926]

Prevalence of Preventive and Symptomatic Drug Treatments in Hospice Care : An Italian Observational Study

P. Agosti;
2019

Abstract

Background: The aim of pharmacotherapy in people at the end of life should be symptom control, more than prolonging life. Drugs for disease prevention should therefore be discouraged, but this is not the usual practice. The prevalence of unnecessary preventive drugs at the end of life is not well described, although some studies suggest it is common. Methods: This retrospective longitudinal study describes the prevalence of patients receiving preventive and symptomatic drug treatments at admission (T1) and before death (T2) in an Italian hospice. All adults admitted to the VIDAS hospice between March 2015 and February 2017 were included in the analysis. Results: The study sample comprised 589 end-of-life patients with a mean age of 75.3 (12.1) years. The mean number of drugs decreased from admission to the hospice to the time of death (mean [standard deviation]: 9.7 [3.4] and 8.7 [3.0]). All patients were appropriately treated with symptomatic drugs at T1 and T2, while there were significantly fewer patients from T1 to T2 with at least 1 preventive medication that could be considered for deprescription at the end of life (511, 86.8% and 286, 48.6%; P <.0001). Conclusions: Hospice admission can be associated with a definite reduction in the use of commonly prescribed preventive medications. However, about half of end-of-life patients can be prescribed avoidable medications. Drugs for peptic ulcer and gastroesophageal reflux disease and antithrombotics were the potentially avoidable preventive medications most frequently prescribed at admission to the hospice and before death.
end of life; palliative care; polypharmacy; preventive drugs; symptomatic drugs; Medicine (all)
Settore MED/09 - Medicina Interna
Settore BIO/14 - Farmacologia
Article (author)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/625293
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