Understanding patients’ willingness to have medications deprescribed in multiple countries: a cross-sectional survey study

Research question

Use of harmful and/or unnecessary medications in older adults is common and leads to considerable harm including adverse drugs reactions, hospitalisation and increased mortality. This indicates deprescribing (withdrawal of inappropriate medicines) is not happening as often in practice as it should be. The overall aim of this project is to examine older patients’ attitudes toward medications and deprescribing using validated and novel measures of known patient-related factors that influence willingness to deprescribe. This is a multinational European survey that will be conducted in 10 countries and the questionnaire will be translated into 7 languages to allow comparisons across countries, cultures, and health systems.
The project has several objectives:

  • Examine attitudes towards medicines, willingness to deprescribe and decision-making preferences.
  • Investigate patient-related factors that influence deprescribing of specific medications including herbal and dietary supplements.
  • Establish empirical support for the existence of the Patient Typology (Weir et al, 2018) and to explore the clinical and sociodemographic characteristics associated with the typology using quantitative methods.

Participants/Recruitment: Older adults aged 65 years and over, taking 5 or more medications will be recruited by their GPs, approximately 100 patients from each country.


Project leader
Prof. Dr. med. Dr. phil. Sven Streit
Project team Prof. Dr. med. Dr. phil. Sven Streit, Dr. phil. Katharina Jungo, Dr. med. Zsofia Zsofia, Dr. phil. Kristie Weir
Doctoral student(s) Renata Lüthold
Funder(s) The project is funded by the Swiss College of General Practice (KHM) and the Federal Commission for Scholarships (FCS) Switzerland.
Study design
Cross-sectional study
Study start