Developing, Implementing and Evaluating Deprescribing Guidelines for the Elderly

Developing, Implementing and Evaluating Deprescribing Guidelines for the Elderly

Resolving the problem of polypharmacy among the frail elderly 

This project is being carried out by engAGE researcher, James Conklin, though not under the auspices of engAGE. This research project provided a framework for implementing deprescribing into frontline practices, and for making decisions about when and how to safely reduce or stop medications that are no longer needed or potentially causing more harm than benefit to the patient. It used a scientifically credible approach to synthesize evidence about the effects of reducing or stopping a medication, as well as patient values and preferences and resource considerations to make recommendations about deprescribing. It also used an adaptive approach to implement the recommendations into a practice’s patient care routines. The research was led by Dr. Barbara Farrell and James Conklin, PhD. It was one piece of a larger interdisciplinary initiative called the Ontario Pharmacy Research Collaboration (OPEN).

The research ran from 2014 through 2016, and the work is now continuing in several follow-on projects. The deprescribing guideline innovation has been adopted by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the Commonwealth Fund for adoption in several health systems in the USA.


  • James Conklin (Concordia University)
  • Barbara Farrell (Bruyere Research Institute)
  • Carlos Rojas-Fernandez (University of Waterloo)
  • Kevin Pottie (Bruyere Research Institute)
  • Lalitha Raman-Wilms (University of Toronto)
  • Lisa McCarthy (University of Toronto)
  • Lise Bjerre (Bruyere Research Institute)


  • Ontario Health Services Research Fund 
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