Article Text

Download PDFPDF
The potential for deprescribing in a palliative oncology patient population: a cross-sectional study


Objectives The use of preventive medication in palliative oncology patients may be inappropriate due to limited life expectancy. Deprescribing tools are available but time-consuming and not always tailored to this specific population. Our primary goal was to identify potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) in palliative oncology patients with a life expectancy of up to 2 years using an adapted deprescribing tool. Our secondary aim was to identify patient characteristics associated with the presence of PIMs.

Methods Oncology patients with a life expectancy of up to 2 years were included cross-sectionally. An adapted deprescribing tool was developed to identify PIMs. Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with having PIMs.

Results A total of 218 patients were included in this study of which 56% had at least one PIM with a population mean of 1.1 PIM per patient. Most frequently defined PIMs were antihypertensive drugs and gastric acid inhibitors. Identification of PIMs by review took an estimated 5–10 min per patient. Polypharmacy, age >65 years and inpatient/outpatient status were found to be associated with having at least one PIM.

Conclusions Deprescribing is possible in more than half of palliative oncology patients with a life expectancy of up to 2 years. The adapted deprescribing tool used is non-time consuming and suitable for palliative oncology patients, regardless of age.

  • palliative care
  • medical oncology
  • pharmacy service, hospital
  • preventive medicine
  • drug misuse

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.