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Scoping review of interventions to de-implement potentially harmful non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in healthcare settings.

BMJ Open 2024 April 18
OBJECTIVES: Potentially harmful non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) utilisation persists at undesirable rates worldwide. The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on interventions to de-implement potentially harmful NSAIDs in healthcare settings and to suggest directions for future research.

DESIGN: Scoping review.

DATA SOURCES: PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, Cochrane Central and Google Scholar (1 January 2000 to 31 May 2022).

STUDY SELECTION: Studies reporting on the effectiveness of interventions to systematically reduce potentially harmful NSAID utilisation in healthcare settings.

DATA EXTRACTION: Using Covidence systematic review software, we extracted study and intervention characteristics, including the effectiveness of interventions in reducing NSAID utilisation.

RESULTS: From 7818 articles initially identified, 68 were included in the review. Most studies took place in European countries (45.6%) or the USA (35.3%), with randomised controlled trial as the most common design (55.9%). Interventions were largely clinician-facing (76.2%) and delivered in primary care (60.2%) but were rarely (14.9%) guided by an implementation model, framework or theory. Academic detailing, clinical decision support or electronic medical record interventions, performance reports and pharmacist review were frequent approaches employed. NSAID use was most commonly classified as potentially harmful based on patients' age (55.8%), history of gastrointestinal disorders (47.1%), or history of kidney disease (38.2%). Only 7.4% of interventions focused on over-the-counter (OTC) NSAIDs in addition to prescription. The majority of studies (76.2%) reported a reduction in the utilisation of potentially harmful NSAIDs. Few studies (5.9%) evaluated pain or quality of life following NSAIDs discontinuation.

CONCLUSION: Many varied interventions to de-implement potentially harmful NSAIDs have been applied in healthcare settings worldwide. Based on these findings and identified knowledge gaps, further efforts to comprehensively evaluate the effectiveness of interventions and the combination of intervention characteristics associated with effective de-implementation are needed. In addition, future work should be guided by de-implementation theory, focus on OTC NSAIDs and incorporate patient-focused strategies and outcomes, including the evaluation of unintended consequences of the intervention.

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