Deprescribing interventions and their impact on medication adherence in community-dwelling older adults with polypharmacy: a systematic review

ULLEY, Joanna, HARROP, Deborah, ALI, Ali, ALTON, Sarah and FOWLER DAVIS, Sally (2019). Deprescribing interventions and their impact on medication adherence in community-dwelling older adults with polypharmacy: a systematic review. BMC Geriatrics, 19 (1).

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Background: Polypharmacy, and the associated adverse drug events such as non-adherence to prescriptions, is a common problem for elderly people living with multiple comorbidities. Deprescribing, i.e. the gradual withdrawal from medications with supervision by a healthcare professional, is regarded as a means of reducing adverse effects of multiple medications including non-adherence. This systematic review examines the evidence of deprescribing as an effective strategy for improving medication adherence amongst older, community dwelling adults. Methods: A mixed methods review was undertaken. Eight bibliographic database and two clinical trials registers were searched between May and December 2017. Results were double screened in accordance with pre-defined inclusion/exclusion criteria related to polypharmacy, deprescribing and adherence in older, community dwelling populations. The Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT) was used for quality appraisal and an a priori data collection instrument was used. For the quantitative studies, a narrative synthesis approach was taken. The qualitative data was analysed using framework analysis. Findings were integrated using a mixed methods technique. The review was performed in accordance with the PRISMA reporting statement. Results: A total of 22 original studies were included, of which 12 were RCTs. Deprescribing with adherence as an outcome measure was identified in randomised controlled trials (RCTs), observational and cohort studies from 13 countries between 1996 and 2017. There were 17 pharmacy-led interventions; others were led by General Practitioners (GP) and nurses. Four studies demonstrated an overall reduction in medications of which all studies corresponded with improved adherence. A total of thirteen studies reported improved adherence of which 5 were RCTs. Adherence was reported as a secondary outcome in all but one study. Conclusions: There is insufficient evidence to show that deprescribing improves medication adherence. Only 13 studies (of 22) reported adherence of which only 5 were randomised controlled trials. Older people are particularly susceptible to non-adherence due to multi-morbidity associated with polypharmacy. Bio-psycho-social factors including health literacy and multi-disciplinary team interventions influence adherence. The authors recommend further study into the efficacy and outcomes of medicines management interventions. A consensus on priority outcome measurements for prescribed medications is indicated.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1103 Clinical Sciences; Geriatrics
Identification Number:
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2019 14:54
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 06:34

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