'I must, and I can live with that': a thematic analysis of patients’ perspectives on polypharmacy and a digital decision support system for GPs

  • Background: To investigate patients’ perspectives on polypharmacy and the use of a digital decision support system to assist general practitioners (GPs) in performing medication reviews. Methods: Qualitative interviews with patients or informal caregivers recruited from participants in a cluster-randomized controlled clinical trial (cRCT). The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: We conducted 13 interviews and identified the following seven themes: the patients successfully integrated medication use in their everyday lives, used medication plans, had both good and bad personal experiences with their drugs, regarded their healthcare providers as the main source of medication-related information, discussed medication changes with their GPs, had trusting relationships with them, and viewed the use of digital decision support tools for medication reviews positively. No unwanted adverse effects were reported. Conclusions: Despite drug-related problems, patients appeared to cope well with their medications. They also trusted their GPs, despite acknowledging polypharmacy to be a complex field for them. The use of a digital support system was appreciated and linked to the hope that reasons for selecting specific medication regimens would become more comprehensible. Further research with a more diverse sampling might add more patient perspectives.

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Author:Robin BrünnORCiD, Beate Müller, Benno FlaigGND, Petra Kellermann-Mühlhoff, Ute Karbach, Sara Söling, Christiane MuthORCiDGND, Marjan van den AkkerORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):BMC family practice
Publisher:BioMed Central
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/08/21
Date of first Publication:2021/08/21
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Contributing Corporation:AdAM Study consortium
Release Date:2021/11/02
Tag:Decision support; Interviews; Patient perspective; Polypharmacy; Primary care; Qualitative study
Issue:art. 168
Page Number:9
First Page:1
Last Page:9
The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
This study was funded by the Innovation Fund of the German Federal Joint Committee (grant no 01NVF16006). The funder had no role in the design of the study, collection, analysis, or interpretation of data, or in the writing of the manuscript. Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL.
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0