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Medicina Interna

Print version ISSN 0872-671X


MAIA, Carla A; TAVARES, Teresa  and  ROCHA, Céu. Potentially Inadequate Therapies at the End of Life and their Deprescription by a Palliative Care Team. Medicina Interna [online]. 2019, vol.26, n.2, pp.107-112. ISSN 0872-671X.

Introduction: People with terminal illnesses are often polymedicated. In the last months of life, some drugs may be considered inadequate. This study intends to evaluate the impact of the intervention of a palliative care (PC) team on the deprescription of potentially inappropriate drugs (PID). Methods: Retrospective observational study with adults with estimated survival of less than 6 months, followed by a PC team at home, in 2016. The PID were quantified and their deprescription was evaluated, during the first year of follow-up by the team. Results: Sixty-eight patients were included, with a mean age of 77 years. Fifty-seven (83.8%) were medicated with PID. Functional status did not influence the number of PID. Deprescription occurred in 40% of patients. The number of medical visits was the only variable with a statistically significant relation with the deprescription (p = 0.004). Discussion: There was a high prevalence of PID in this sample, regardless of functional status. The data from this study are in line with the current scientific literature, which suggests that a significant percentage of patients are medicated with drugs with no proven benefit at this stage. Conclusion: It is essential to review the relevance of all end-of-life patients' medication, due to the high prevalence of PID and its consequences. Their identification and deprescription are fundamental actions, whose implementation requires a timely evaluation by CP.

Keywords : Deprescriptions; Inappropriate Prescribing; Palliative Care; Medical Futility.

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