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עמוד בית
Wed, 10.08.22

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June 2022
Doron Garfinkel MD, and Yuval Levy MD

Background: There has been a rapid increase in vulnerable subpopulations of very old with co-morbidity, dementia, frailty, and limited life expectancy. Being treated by many specialists has led to an epidemic of inappropriate medication use and polypharmacy (IMUP) with negative medical and economic consequences. For most medications there are no evidence-based studies in older people and treatments are based on guidelines proven in much younger/healthier populations.

Objectives: To evaluate whether the benefits of reducing IMUP by poly-de-prescribing (PDP) outweighs the negative outcomes in older people with polypharmacy.

Methods: The Garfinkel method and algorithm were used in older people with polypharmacy (≥ 6 prescription drugs).

Results: We found that in nursing departments, of 331 drugs de-prescribed only 32 (10%) had to be re-administered. Annual mortality and severe complications requiring referral to acute care facility were significantly reduced in PDP (P < 0.002). In community dwelling older people, successful de-prescribing was achieved in 81% with no increase in adverse events or deaths. Those who de-prescribed ≥ 3 prescription drugs showed significantly more improvement in functional and cognitive status, sleep quality, appetite, serious complications, quality of life, and general satisfaction compared to controls who stopped ≤ 2 medications (P < 0.002). Rates of hospitalization and mortality were comparable. Clinical improvement by polydeprescribing was usually evident within 3 months and persisted for several years. The main barrier to polydeprescribing was physician’s unwillingness to deprescribe (P < 0.0001)

Conclusions: Applying the Garfinkel method of PDP may improve the lives of older people and save money.

June 2007
D. Garfinkel, S. Zur-Gil, J. Ben-Israel

Background: The extent of medical and financial problems of polypharmacy in the elderly is disturbing, particularly in nursing homes and nursing departments.

Objectives: To improve drug therapy and minimize drug intake in nursing departments.

Methods: We introduced a geriatric-palliative approach and methodology to combat the problem of polypharmacy. The study group comprised 119 disabled patients in six geriatric nursing departments, and the control group 71 patients of comparable age, gender and co-morbidities patients in the same wards. After 12 months, we assessed whether any change in medications affected the death rate, referrals to acute care facility and costs.

Results: A total of 332 different drugs were discontinued in 119 patients (average of 2.8 drugs per patient) and was not associated with significant adverse effects. The overall rate of drug discontinuation failure was 18% of all patients and 10% of all drugs. The 1 year mortality rate was 45% in the control group but only 21% in the study group (P < 0.001, chi-square test). The patients’ annual referral rate to acute care facilities was 30% in the control group but only 11.8% in the study group (P < 0.002). The intervention was associated with a substantial decrease in the cost of drugs.

Conclusions: Application of the geriatric-palliative methodology in the disabled elderly enables simultaneous discontinuation of several medications and yields a number of benefits: reduction in mortality rates and referrals to acute care facilities, lower costs, and improved quality of living.

 
 

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