New Fast Fact Released: #369 Communication Techniques for Deprescribing Conversations

Fast Fact #369 has been released: Communication Techniques for Deprescribing Conversations.

Thanks to the authors, Maria Felton PharmD, BCPS, BCGP, Cara Tannenbaum MD, MSc, Mary Lynn McPherson PharmD, MA, MDE, BCPS, CPE, and Jennifer Pruskowski PharmD, BCPS, BCGP, CPE, for this new addition to the Fast Fact Library.

Many patients who are facing a terminal illness experience unnecessary pill burden and iatrogenic risk by continuing medications which are no longer needed for their comfort nor survival. Deprescribing is the process of intentionally stopping a medication or reducing its dose to improve a person’s health or reduce the risk of adverse side effects. It is a recommend part of best palliative care practice. While clinicians are often able to identify medications for which it makes clinical sense to deprescribe, they often hesitate to carry through with deprescribing because they may not feel confident with their communication skills in leading these discussions in a way that does not trigger psychological distress among patients and families since many patients become psychologically attached to medications which are familiar to them. Other Fast Facts have addressed the clinical aspects about deprescribing (#s 258, 264, 278, 322, 333, 354, and 355). This Fast Fact is devoted to best communication strategies for leading successful and patient-centered discussions about deprescribing.