Prioritizing Multiple Drug Prescriptions
Ergebnisse einer schriftlichen Befragung von Hausärztengerman translation / full article
A Survey of Family Practitioners
Background: Criteria used by family practitioners in the process of drug prescribing were already determined in a preceding study using focus groups . On the basis of these results we developed a questionnaire including two typical case vignettes to poll a representative group of family practitioners for the criteria they use in order to regulate medication.
Methods: 1.140 FPs from Saxony-Anhalt were randomly interviewed using three approaches to identify the one with the highest response rate: One third received a questionnaire dispatched by mail, another third received also a questionnaire dispatched by mail (including a link, however, that refers to an online version of the questionnaire) in order to give respondents a choice between e-mail and regular mail. The last third received an e-mail (link to online questionnaire). FPs were asked to rate given prioritization criteria by importance. Two versions were sent in order to examine a possible position-effect in a Likert scale.
Results: 206 questionnaires (18 %) were returned, the contact via regular mail with response envelope was more successful (21 %) than the approach via e-mail. The previously established prioritization criteria were confirmed: Patient safety is regarded as most important. The position of response categories in the Likert scale biases the responses without changing the ranking of the criteria.
Conclusions: In this study regular mail seems to be the recommended type of approach. Garfinkel’s algorithm which is suggested as a promising tool for drug prioritization in the guideline “polypharmacy” (guideline group Hesse and German College of General Practioners and Family Physicians [DEGAM]) is augmented based on our results. Its effectiveness should be evaluated.