Author Topic: Study,Sep./22: Prescribers' Perspectives on Deprescribing Opioids & Benzos...  (Read 370 times)


The full title of this American study is "Primary-Care Prescribers' Perspectives on Deprescribing Opioids and Benzodiazepines in Older Adults".


Purpose: Opioids and benzodiazepines (BZDs) are frequently implicated as contributing to falls in older adults. Deprescribing of these medications continues to be challenging. This study evaluated primary-care prescribers' confidence in and perceptions of deprescribing opioids and BZDs for older adults.

Methods: For this study, we conducted a quantitative analysis of survey data combined with an analysis of qualitative data from a focus group. A survey evaluating prescriber confidence in deprescribing opioids and BZDs was distributed to providers at 15 primary-care clinics in North Carolina between March-December 2020. Average confidence (scale 0-100) for deprescribing opioids, deprescribing BZDs, and deprescribing under impeding circumstances were reported. A virtual focus group was conducted in March 2020 to identify specific barriers and facilitators to deprescribing opioids and BZDs. Audio recordings and transcripts were analyzed using inductive coding.

Results: We evaluated 61 survey responses (69.3% response rate). Respondents were predominantly physicians (54.8%), but also included nurse practitioners (24.6%) and physician assistants (19.4%). Average overall confidence in deprescribing was comparable for opioids (64.5) and BZDs (65.9), but was lower for deprescribing under impeding circumstances (53.7). In the focus group, prescribers noted they met more resistance when deprescribing BZDs and that issues such as lack of time, availability of mental health resources, and patients seeing multiple prescribers were barriers to deprescribing.

Conclusion: Findings from quantitative and qualitative analyses identified that prescribers were moderately confident in their ability to deprescribe both opioids and BZDs in older adults, but less confident under potentially impeding circumstances. Future studies are needed to evaluate policies and interventions to overcome barriers to deprescribing opioids and BZDs in primary care.

Full Paper:
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