Involving older people in decisions about deprescribing in end of life care
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Involving older people in decisions about deprescribing in end of life care

Caroline McGraw Honorary research fellow, Department of Health Services Research and Management, School of Health & Psychological Sciences, City, University of London, London, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To appreciate the risks and benefits of medicines use in older people approaching end of life

  • To enhance your knowledge of deprescribing with older people

  • To learn about a framework for challenging conversations that can support deprescribing discussions with older people

It is essential for all healthcare practitioners, including nurses, to recognise and respond to people’s wishes and preferences for end of life care as part of a person-centred approach. Older people approaching the end of life are significant consumers of prescribed medicines and are at increased risk of adverse drug events. As such, prescribers and other healthcare practitioners should offer older people the opportunity to be involved in decisions about their medicines. This article focuses on older people and deprescribing in the last year of life. It provides an overview of the personalised care agenda, explores the risks and benefits of medicines among older people with advanced illness, and describes some of the most widely used deprescribing tools. The article emphasises a person-centred approach to end of life care and makes suggestions for holding discussions about deprescribing with patients and their families and/or carers.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2022.e12021

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

McGraw C (2022) Involving older people in decisions about deprescribing in end of life care. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2022.e12021

Published online: 10 October 2022

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