Outcome prioritisation tool for medication review in older patients with multimorbidity: a pilot study in general practice

Jojanneke Jgt van Summeren, Jan Schuling, Flora M Haaijer-Ruskamp, Petra Denig*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Background Several methods have been developed to conduct and support medication reviews in older persons with multimorbidity. Assessing the patient's priorities for achieving specific health outcomes can guide the medication review process. Little is known about the impact of conducting such assessments.

Aim This pilot study aimed to determine proposed and observed medication changes when using an outcome prioritisation tool (OPT) during a medication review in general practice.

Design and setting Participants were older patients with multimorbidity (aged >= 69 years) with polypharmacy (five or more chronic medications) from the practices of 14 GPs.

Method Patients were asked to prioritise four universal health outcomes - remaining alive, maintaining independence, reducing pain, and reducing other symptoms - using an OPT. GPs used this prioritisation to review the medication and to propose and discuss medication changes with the patient. The outcomes included the proposed medication change as documented by the GP, and the observed medication change in the electronic health record at follow-up. Descriptive analyses were conducted to determine medication changes according to the prioritised health outcomes.

Results A total of 59 patients using 486 medications prioritised the four health outcomes. GPs proposed 34 changes of medication, mainly stopping, for 20 patients. At follow-up, 14 medication changes were observed for 10 patients. The stopping of medication (mostly preventive) was particularly observed in patients who prioritised 'reducing other symptoms' as most important.

Conclusion Using an OPT leads mainly to the stopping of medication. Medication changes appeared to be easiest for patients who prioritised reducing other symptoms' as most important.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E501-E506
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Issue number660
Early online date27-Mar-2017
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2017


  • decision aid
  • general practice
  • medication review
  • multimorbidity
  • patient preference
  • polypharmacy

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