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Involving patients in medicines optimisation in general practice: a development study of the “PREparing Patients for Active Involvement in medication Review” (PREPAIR) tool

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Background: Many patients have multiple health conditions and take multiple medications (polypharmacy). Active patient involvement may improve treatment outcomes and ensure patient-centred care. Yet, patient involvement remains a challenge in clinical practice. We aimed to develop and pilot test a questionnaire-based preparation and dialogue tool, the PREparing Patients for Active Involvement in medication Review (PREPAIR) tool, to encourage the involvement of patients with polypharmacy in medicines optimisation in general practice. Methods: We conducted a literature review followed by a co-production process to develop the tool: a workshop with six GPs and pilot testing, including observations and interviews, with 22 patients, three GPs and three practice staff. During this process, we made continuous adaptations to the prototype. We analysed the qualitative data thematically, focusing on the development process and mechanisms of impact. Findings: The final PREPAIR tool included five items concerning the patient’s experience of 1) adverse drug reactions, 2) excess medication, 3) unnecessary medication, 4) medication satisfaction and 5) medication-related topics to discuss with the GP (open-ended question). The applied workflow during testing was as follows; the patient completed the PREPAIR tool at home, to encourage reflection on the medication, and brought it to the GP consultation. During the consultation, the GP and the patient reviewed the patient’s responses and discussed potential medication-related problems. For some patients, the increased reflection led to worries about the medications. Still, the pilot testing showed that, when using the PREPAIR tool, the patients arrived at the clinic well prepared and empowered to speak. From the PREPAIR-supported dialogue, the GPs obtained a better understanding of patients’ perspectives and provided a more patient-centred consultation. For the patients, the PREPAIR-supported dialogue ultimately promoted an increased sense of security, satisfaction and insight into their medication, despite initial worries for some patients. Conclusions: We developed a brief tool to support active patient involvement in medication review in general practice. The PREPAIR-tool was well received by both patients and GPs and fitted well into the existing clinical practice. Our findings suggest that the PREPAIR-tool can support patient involvement during consultations and facilitate patient-centred care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122
JournalBMC Primary Care
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

    Research areas

  • Co-production, Denmark, General practice, Health literacy, Intervention development, Patient participation, Patient-centered care, Polypharmacy, Qualitative research, Questionnaire

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