Eliciting Preferences of Multimorbid Elderly Adults in Family Practice Using an Outcome Prioritization Tool

Jojanneke J. G. T. van Summeren*, Flora M. Haaijer-Ruskamp, Jan Schuling

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    ObjectivesTo explore an outcome prioritization tool (OPT) in eliciting individuals' preferred health outcomes (remaining alive, maintaining independence, reducing pain, reducing other symptoms) in the context of medication review in family practice.

    DesignCross-sectional pilot study with mixed-methods design.

    SettingFamily practice.

    ParticipantsMultimorbid individuals (N = 60; aged 69) with polypharmacy (5 chronic medications) derived from the practice lists of a purposive sample of 13 family physicians (FPs).

    MeasurementsParticipants were asked to prioritize each health outcome according the trade-off principle, and FPs used this prioritization for medication review. The acceptability and practicality were measured using a questionnaire for FPs and participants and semistructured interviews with FPs.

    ResultsNinety-two percent of participants found the OPT understandable, and 55% could easily prioritize between health outcomes. Working with the OPT (mean duration 31 minutes) was a new approach for FPs, but they became more adept at using it. For FPs, the OPT provides better understanding of their patients. Participants and FPs thought that there should be a specific reason to discuss preferences, such as (expected) decline in health status.

    ConclusionThe OPT appears to be promising in eliciting patient preferences but is not suitable for routine medication review at present. Further optimization before actual use is needed (e.g., knowledge in which clinical situations the OPT is useful). More information is needed on how individuals and their families perceive the tool.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)E143-E148
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - Nov-2016


    • family medicine
    • multimorbidity
    • polypharmacy
    • decision aid
    • patient preference

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