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Deprescribing refers to the action of discontinuation, substitution or tapering of inappropriate medications and is part of the continuum of appropriate prescribing for patients. The goal of deprescribing is to improve patient outcomes through reducing pill burden and potentially harmful medications which are no longer useful.

In Singapore, older adults are at risk of polypharmacy and the benefits of appropriate deprescribing in this patient population is relatively well known among healthcare professionals. However, there are multiple barriers to the practice, one of them being the uncertainty of how patients and their caregivers would react to healthcare professionals when we offer to deprescribe. Knowledge of decision-making preferences among Singapore older adults and their caregivers is needed to facilitate confidence in deprescribing.

This landmark study by PSS’ Deprescribing Workgroup delineates the attitudes of local patients and their caregivers towards deprescribing. Lead authors Dr Kua Chong Han, Dr Doreen Tan, Dr Koh Tsing Yi and Dr Soong Jie Lin et al discuss useful insights into the factors influencing their acceptability and concerns about deprescribing.

This study highlights the need for clinicians to engage with their patients and caregivers in Shared Decision Making - exploring risks versus benefits of continuing chronic medicines, so as to collaboratively decide on which medicines to keep or deprescribe. Other tools required to overcome barriers include evidence-based decision algorithms and monitoring protocols for clinicians.

Click the Link to read more: http://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glaa018

We would like to thank the following Pharmacist and Healthcare institutions for the support they have provided. This publication would not have been possible without their help.

Doreen Tan Su-Yin, Genevieve Ho Kar Yoke, Tan Hong Huei (Khoo Teck Puat Hospital), Chen Yi Rong, Christina Tan Jiun Yu, Selina Cheong (Tan Tock Seng Hospital), Soong Jie Lin, Peh Zi Xin (Singapore General Hospital), Kua Chong Han (Guardian), Koh Tsing Yi, Lim Ken Juin, Deborah Chia (National University Hospital), Grace Li Lin Kng (Watsons), Marvin Sim Jun Long (National Healthcare Group Pharmacy), Tracy Zhang Yan Xin (Ang Mo Kio - Thye Hua Kwan Hospital), Chen Hsueh Ni (Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital),Cherie Wong (NTUC Unity)