Patients with life-limiting illnesses often have more than one co-morbid condition thereby exacerbating polypharmacy and the continuation of unnecessary medications.
Todd and colleagues used in-depth patient and caregiver interviews to explore medication use and discontinuation in patients with life-limiting illness. They found that willingness to consider discontinuing medications increased as patients became accepting of their illness and limited prognosis. Medications were viewed as burdensome and overwhelming and their anxiety about stopping medications lessened as they became sicker.
The authors concluded that deprescribing strategies developed should involve patients and caregivers alike and consider expectations and timing of interventions.
Link to BMC Palliative Care article (1/29/2016)