Drug prescribing in end-of-life care in nursing homes: improved treatment across countries

PI: Kristina Johnell, kristina.johnell@ki.se

Appropriate and well-balanced drug treatment in old age is essential for the well-being of older adults. However, there are few studies about appropriate drug treatment for elderly people in end-of-life care. This special drug-prescribing situation calls for a different way of thinking—drugs that are usually regarded as appropriate may be inappropriate in palliative care and vice versa.

This interdisciplinary project aims to assess and improve the quality of drug prescribing for nursing home residents during the final months before death by developing quality indicators and through analyses of register data.

We aim to 1) develop quality indicators for drug treatment in end-of-life care in the nursing home setting, 2) use the quality indicators to compare inappropriate and appropriate drug treatment in end-of-life care, and 3) examine the association between the quality indicators and unplanned hospital admissions in the last 6 months of life.

This project, funded by Forte (the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life, and Welfare),  will provide unprecedented insight into the quality of prescribing in nursing home residents’ final months of life. Hence, the project has great potential to improve the care and well-being of frail older people at the end of life.