Purpose: This study aimed to explore medication-related decision-making by health professionals from different disciplines and specialties caring for people with advanced dementia living in long-term care facilities, focusing on dilemmas associated with starting, continuing or deprescribing medications commonly regarded as potentially inappropriate. Methods: Four focus groups were undertaken, each on a different medication type (antibiotics, lipid-lowering agents, opioids and acetylcholinesterase inhibitors). Transcripts underwent qualitative analysis using line by line inductive coding and then a person-centred framework to highlight themes across medication types. Results: Sixteen participants participated in focus groups. Regardless of medication type or dilemma, results suggested decision-making for residents with advanced dementia should begin with discussing goals of care and engaging with families, and be viewed as an iterative process involving regular monitoring and adjustment. Decision-making was seen as requiring a dialectical approach involving multiple perspectives, with an emphasis on establishing communication between health professionals, family and the person with dementia to better understand goals/preferences for care. Conclusion: Inter-professional collaboration enables sharing of clinical experience/expertise, differing disciplinary perspectives and knowledge about the resident. Continuing a medication should be considered an active decision that carries as much responsibility as starting or deprescribing.
- Interdisciplinary collaboration
- Long-term care
- Potentially inappropriate prescribing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)