Understanding stakeholders’ perspectives on implementing deprescribing for older people living in long-term residential care homes: the STOPPING study protocol
Cockcroft , Emma
Reed, Donald N
Heneker , Julia
Background Older people with multimorbidity often experience polypharmacy. Taking multiple medicines can be beneficial; however, some older adults are prescribed multiple medicines when they are unlikely to improve clinical outcomes and may lead to harm. Deprescribing means reducing or stopping prescription medicines which may no longer be providing benefit. While appropriate deprescribing may usually be safely undertaken, there is a lack of guidance about how to implement it in practice settings such as care homes. Implementing deprescribing in care homes is often challenging, due to differing concerns of residents, staff, clinicians, friends/family members and carers along with differences in care home structures. The STOPPING study will support the development of better deprescribing practice in care homes, considering different views and environments. This paper aims to introduce the research protocol. Methods We will use qualitative approaches informed by the widely accepted Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) to aid analysis. To understand the barriers, facilitators, and contextual factors influencing deprescribing in care homes, we will employ individual interviews with care home residents and family members, focus groups with care home staff and healthcare professionals, and observations from care homes. Then, we will examine acceptability, feasibility, and suitability of existing deprescribing approaches using cognitive interviews with care home staff and healthcare professionals. Lastly, we will use narrative synthesis to integrate findings and develop guidance for implementing a deprescribing approach for care homes. Discussion This research will support the development of implementable approaches to deprescribing in care homes. The insights from this project will be shared with various stakeholders: care home residents, staff, pharmacists, general practitioners, nurses, and other health professionals, carers, researchers, and the public. This work will support deprescribing to be implemented effectively in care homes to benefit residents and the wider health economy.