Time to Deprescribe: A Time-Centric Model for Deprescribing at End of Life

Laura Meyer-Junco
Journal of Palliative Medicine 2021, 24 (2): 273-284
In end-of-life care, deprescribing practices may vary considerably from one practitioner to the next, although most published frameworks for evaluating medication appropriateness in advanced illness consider three key principles (1) patient and caregiver goals, (2) remaining life expectancy (LE), and (3) medication time to benefit (TTB). The objective of this article is to provide clinicians with a structured, consistent approach for deprescribing that does not replace clinical judgment or the preferences of patients and their families but enhances it through clinical data. The emphasis will be on the time component of published models, including how to estimate remaining LE and medication TTB. Through case examples of two new hospice admissions, LE and TTB will be estimated and applied to deprescribing decisions. This time-centric approach may satisfy the palliative and hospice clinicians' desire for clear clinical justification for medication discontinuation while at the same time providing a strategy for communicating deprescribing rationale to patients and families.

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