Community-dwelling older people's attitudes towards deprescribing in Canada

Caroline Sirois, Nicole Ouellet, Emily Reeve

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


Background While there is evidence that supervised withdrawal of inappropriate medications might be beneficial for individuals with polypharmacy, little is known about their attitudes towards deprescribing. Objective This study aimed to describe the situation among older community-dwelling Canadians. Methods A self-administered survey was adapted from the Patients' Attitudes Towards Deprescribing questionnaire and distributed to 10 community pharmacies and 2 community centers. The participants rated their agreement on statements about polypharmacy/deprescribing on a 5-point, Likert-type scale. Correlations between the desire to have medications deprescribed and survey items were evaluated using Spearman's Rho and Goodman and Kurska's gamma rank correlations. Results From the 129 participants, 63% were women [median age: 76 (IQR:71–80); median number medication: 6 (IQR: 3–8)]. A proportion of 50.8% (95%CI: 41.6%–60.0%) expressed the desire to reduce their number of medications. This desire was strongly correlated with the individuals' feeling of taking a large number of medications and moderately correlated with the belief that some of the medications were no longer needed or that they were experiencing side effects. Conclusions The results show that older individuals in the community are eager to undertake deprescribing, especially if they have a large number of medications, are experiencing side effects or feel some medications are no longer necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)864-870
Number of pages7
JournalResearch in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitudes
  • Deprescribing
  • Elderly
  • Perceptions
  • Polypharmacy

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