Background: Most individuals with dementia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) have multiple chronic conditions (MCC). The combination leads to multiple medications and complex medication regimens and is associated with increased risk for significant treatment burden, adverse drug events, cognitive changes, hospitalization, and mortality. Optimizing medications through deprescribing (the process of reducing or stopping the use of inappropriate medications or medications unlikely to be beneficial) may improve outcomes for MCC patients with dementia or MCI.
Methods: With input from patients, family members, and clinicians, we developed and piloted a patient-centered, pragmatic intervention (OPTIMIZE) to educate and activate patients, family members, and primary care clinicians about deprescribing as part of optimal medication management for older adults with dementia or MCI and MCC. The clinic-based intervention targets patients on 5 or more medications, their family members, and their primary care clinicians using a pragmatic, cluster-randomized design at Kaiser Permanente Colorado. The intervention has two components: a patient/ family component focused on education and activation about the potential value of deprescribing, and a clinician component focused on increasing clinician awareness about options and processes for deprescribing. Primary outcomes are total number of chronic medications and total number of potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs). We estimate that approximately 2400 patients across 9 clinics will receive the intervention. A comparable number of patients from 9 other clinics will serve as wait-list controls. We have > 80% power to detect an average decrease of - 0.70 (< 1 medication). Secondary outcomes include the number of PIM starts, dose reductions for selected PIMs (benzodiazepines, opiates, and antipsychotics), rates of adverse drug events (falls, hemorrhagic events, and hypoglycemic events), ability to perform activities of daily living, and skilled nursing facility, hospital, and emergency department admissions.
Discussion: The OPTIMIZE trial will examine whether a primary care-based, patient- and family-centered intervention educating patients, family members, and clinicians about deprescribing reduces numbers of chronic medications and PIMs for older adults with dementia or MCI and MCC. Trial registration: NCT03984396. Registered on 13 June 2019.