AbstractsBiology & Animal Science

Drug therapy - a challenge in primary care.

by Veronica Milos

Institution: University of Lund
Year: 2014
Keywords: elderly; Drug therapy; guidelines; primary care; potentially inappropriate medications; fall risk increasing drugs; antibiotics; upper respiratory tract infections; attitudes; adherence; general practitioners; Sweden; Medicine and Health Sciences
Record ID: 1338171
Full text PDF: http://lup.lub.lu.se/record/4729585



Introduction: Drug therapy in primary care is a broad field, with two areas previously identified as particularly challenging: treatment of the elderly and prescription of antibiotics against uncomplicated upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs). General practitioners’ (GPs’) attitudes and adherence to evidence-based treatment guidelines might be influenced by different interventions and need to be studied. Objectives: 1. To study different intervention models that might influence GPs’ adherence to treatment guidelines. 2. To describe GPs’ attitudes towards locally developed treatment guidelines. Methods: (Paper I) Systematic medication reviews by pharmacists were performed in a randomised controlled study of 369 elderly patients living in the community or nursing homes, who were using the multi-dose drug dispensing (MDD) system. Drug lists were assessed before and after the intervention with a focus on potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs). (Paper II) A retrospective analysis of medication lists was conducted in the same patient sample, with a focus on fall risk-increasing drugs (FRIDs), orthostatic drugs (ODs) and falls. (Paper III) A randomised controlled study was performed using two questionnaire-based behaviour change interventions aimed at reducing prescription of antibiotics against URTIs in primary care. (Paper IV) A qualitative study was performed using focus group interviews to assess GPs’ attitudes towards evidence-based local treatment guidelines. Results: Papers I and II: Systematic medication reviews by pharmacists reduced the number of patients taking PIMs and the total number of drugs these patients were taking, but not the number of patients taking more than three psychotropic drugs. A significant proportion (87%) of the study sample was taking FRIDs and ODs. Numbers of FRIDs were associated with the total number of drugs and with severe falls. There was no association between numbers of ODs and occurrence of severe falls. Paper III: There was a significant decrease in the antibiotic prescribing rate in one of the two intervention groups compared to the control group in patients 0-6 years, but no differences between the groups in patients of all ages. Paper IV: Trust in evidence-based recommendations and patient safety were found to be key factors in prescribing, as was the patient-doctor encounter, with emphasis on informing the patient. The GPs all experienced a lack of time to self-inform, difficulties managing patients with multiple prescribers and direct-to-consumer drug industry information. Cost containment was perceived as both a barrier and a motivator for adherence to guidelines. Conclusion: Multi-professional assessment of patient’s drug list and questionnaire-based behaviour change interventions might be feasible methods to improve quality of drug treatment in primary care and need to be studied further. GPs found trust in evidence-based guidelines and patient safety to be essential in drug prescribing. Bakgrund: Förskrivning av läkemedel är en av de…