Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Seniors and sleeping pills: Empowered patients choose wisely

Date:
April 14, 2014
Source:
Universite de Montreal
Summary:
“Many people believe that involving patients in the decision to curtail medical treatments is expecting too much. On the contrary: we now have evidence that patients who are better informed make smarter choices,” said the author of a new study. Findings provide a concrete action plan for implementing the recommendation that sleeping pills -- and 53 other medications -- should be avoided in seniors.

The US Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act encourages patients to act as their own advocates for reducing unnecessary prescriptions that increase the risk of harm. The American Board of Internal Medicine Choosing Wisely® campaign echoes this message by asking older adults to refrain from using sleeping pills. According to the American Geriatrics Society, these medicines have been linked to memory problems, falls, fractures and motor vehicle accidents. "Many people believe that involving patients in the decision to curtail medical treatments is expecting too much," says Dr. Cara Tannenbaum, Pharmacy Research Chair and geriatrician at the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal and professor at the University of Montreal. "On the contrary: we now have evidence that patients who are better informed make smarter choices."

Related Articles


Dr. Tannenbaum's study, released today by JAMA Internal Medicine, randomized 303 chronic sleeping pill users aged 65 to 95 to receive a patient empowerment de-prescribing intervention in a wait-listed fashion. Participants were recruited from community pharmacies in the region of Quebec, Canada. On average, participants used sleeping pills for 10 years and took approximately 10 different medications per day. The empowerment interventon was a 7-page handout which described the risks of sleeping pill use and encouraged patients to discuss a tapering protocol with their physician or pharmacist.

Sixty-two percent of seniors who received the empowerment intervention spoke to their health provider about reducing sleeping pill consumption. Six months later, 27% succeeded in breaking free of the habit, while another 11% were in the process of tapering. "These results are incredible," affirms Dr. Tannenbaum. "Many older adults are addicted to sleeping pills for years. Provision of the latest scientific knowledge empowered them to take their medication safety into their own hands. They raised the issue with their health care provider and started the cycle rolling for de-prescribing. Just because you take a medication for a long time does not mean you can never get off it." The study concludes that seniors are not given enough credit for being active and able participants in decisions about their health care and medication use.

Dr. Tannenbaum's findings provide a concrete action plan for implementing the recommendation issued in the Revised Beers Criteria published in the spring of 2012 by the American Geriatrics Society that sleeping pills -- and 53 other medications -- should be avoided in seniors. "Interestingly, women are more likely to consume sleeping pills than men" explains Dr. Tannenbaum. "The empowerment intervention was equally effective in both sexes. Last year the FDA cut the recommended dose of the sleeping pill zolpidem in half for women. There is growing recognition that certain drugs act more powerfully in females because of women's small size and body composition. There is a need for research to ensure that women are informed of these risks in an effective, timely and scientifically correct fashion." The empowerment intervention can be found online on the JAMA Internal Medicine website.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universite de Montreal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Cara Tannenbaum, Philippe Martin, Robyn Tamblyn, Andrea Benedetti, Sara Ahmed. Reduction of Inappropriate Benzodiazepine Prescriptions Among Older Adults Through Direct Patient Education. JAMA Internal Medicine, 2014; DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.949

Cite This Page:

Universite de Montreal. "Seniors and sleeping pills: Empowered patients choose wisely." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140414160810.htm>.
Universite de Montreal. (2014, April 14). Seniors and sleeping pills: Empowered patients choose wisely. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140414160810.htm
Universite de Montreal. "Seniors and sleeping pills: Empowered patients choose wisely." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140414160810.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins