HealthDay News — The majority of older patients are aware of medication harms, but far fewer understand deprescribing, according to a brief report published online in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Justin P. Turner, PhD, from the University of Montreal, and colleagues analyzed data from a survey of community-dwelling adults aged 65 years and older (2665 total participants; 898 men; mean age, 74.9 years) to determine older adults’ awareness of the concept of medication-induced harm.

The researchers found that nearly two-thirds of participants (65.2%) were familiar with the concept of medication-induced harms. Nearly half (48%) had researched medication-related harms either through the internet (35.5%) or from health care professionals (32.2%). However, only 6.9% recognized the term deprescribing.

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“Health care providers can facilitate patient-initiated deprescribing conversations by providing information on medication harms and using the term ‘deprescribing,'” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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Turner JP, Tannenbaum C. Older adults’ awareness of deprescribing: a population-based survey [published online September 15, 2017]. J Am Geriatr. doi: 10.1111/jgs.15079