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Research Article Open Access
Objective: To assess the methods and frequency by which medication reviews are performed by general practitioners and nursing home physicians by means of a survey.
Methods: 134 nursing home physicians and general practitioners working in the southern part of the Netherlands, the province of Limburg were asked to fill in a digital questionnaire. Non response was followed by second emailing and a questionnaire on paper by regular post. The questionnaire was developed by an expert panel, consisting of two hospital pharmacists, an internist, a nursing home physician and a neuropsychiatrist.
Results: There was substantial inconsistency in the frequency of performing medication reviews, ranging from monthly (in 40%) by the nursing home physicians to four times a year (in 50%) by the general practitioners. Time spent on one review also varied significantly between groups, namely 10 minutes for a nursing home physician and 20 minutes for general practitioners. Meetings between the physician and pharmacist took place regularly (91%), but these were not organised for medication reviewing of individual patients. When medication was changed by another doctor, 47% of nursing home physicians and 44% of the general practitioners were informed often, whereas 40% and 50% respectively were only informed sometimes, and 13% of nursing home physicians and 6% of general practitioners never received any notice. 59% of the nursing home physicians and 89% of general practitioners considered workload to be a limiting factor in performing reviews.
Conclusions: This survey shows great inconsistency in the way medication reviews are done. To achieve a high standard, we may have to reconsider the way medication reviews are done.
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Author(s): Kim PGM Hurkens, Carlota Mestres-Gonzalvo, Hugo AJM de Wit, P. Hugo M van der Kuy, Rob Janknegt, FransVerhey, Jos MGA Schols, Leo ML Stolk, Coen DA Stehouwer and Wubbo Mulder
Medication review, Older people, Nursing home, General practice, Gerontology, Geriatric Palliative Care,Geriatric Physical Therapy