Publications by authors named "Andrew M Whitman"

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A Comprehensive Look at Polypharmacy and Medication Screening Tools for the Older Cancer Patient.

Oncologist 2016 06 5;21(6):723-30. Epub 2016 May 5.

Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.

Unlabelled: : Inappropriate medication use and polypharmacy are extremely common among older adults. Numerous studies have discussed the importance of a comprehensive medication assessment in the general geriatric population. However, only a handful of studies have evaluated inappropriate medication use in the geriatric oncology patient. Almost a dozen medication screening tools exist for the older adult. Each available tool has the potential to improve aspects of the care of older cancer patients, but no single tool has been developed for this population. We extensively reviewed the literature (MEDLINE, PubMed) to evaluate and summarize the most relevant medication screening tools for older patients with cancer. Findings of this review support the use of several screening tools concurrently for the elderly patient with cancer. A deprescribing tool should be developed and included in a comprehensive geriatric oncology assessment. Finally, prospective studies are needed to evaluate such a tool to determine its feasibility and impact in older patients with cancer.

Implications For Practice: The prevalence of polypharmacy increases with advancing age. Older adults are more susceptible to adverse effects of medications. "Prescribing cascades" are common, whereas "deprescribing" remains uncommon; thus, older patients tend to accumulate medications over time. Older patients with cancer are at high risk for adverse drug events, in part because of the complexity and intensity of cancer treatment. Additionally, a cancer diagnosis often alters assessments of life expectancy, clinical status, and competing risk. Screening for polypharmacy and potentially inappropriate medications could reduce the risk for adverse drug events, enhance quality of life, and reduce health care spending for older cancer patients.
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June 2016