The research focus comprises ensuring optimal medicines use, while avoiding unnecessary and potentially harmful polypharmacy.
Person-centred care research of the MO group is structured around four guiding principles of medicines optimisation (Royal Pharmaceutical Society, 2013):
- understand the patient's experience
- evidence-based choice of medicines
- ensure medicines use is as safe as possible
- making medicines optimisation part of routine practice
The MO group brings together members of School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences staff and research students with relevant interests and expertise in collaborations with others to conduct health services research in multi-disciplinary teams.
Members of the MO group collaborate actively with researchers in the Faculty of Health Studies working in patient safety and in dementia.
The group's programme of research focuses on three linked themes:
Medicines at transitions of care
Medicines-related problems following discharge from hospital are well documented. The team's updated systematic review of evidence shows that a range of interventions has been tested with some, albeit limited, evidence of effects on health outcomes.
The review found that studies to date demonstrate little patient involvement, or attention to patient perspectives.
There is considerable scope to reduce preventable harm and to optimise medicine use.
The research programme aims to determine the key characteristics or resilient, patient-centred medicines management across transitions of care, investigate whether education preparation for changed roles of staff involved in medicines management is fit for purpose, and will refine and test interventions through co-production with patients. The research focuses on patients who have been in hospital for a heart failure admission.
The group co-leads on a programme of research into Improving Efficiency, Safety and Continuity in Medicines Management for Patients Discharged from Hospital (ISCOMAT) in collaboration with colleagues from the Faculty of Health Studies, University of Leeds, clinicians, and patients, funded by NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research.
Value of patient information
The group investigates which formats and types of information have the biggest impact on patients' behavioural intentions.
Little research has been conducted on the effects of interventions based on optimisation of the content, media and timing of information to maximise its impact on behavioural intentions.
Patients discharged from hospital need to receive and understand information about the part that medicines play, if they are to have the capability to follow the plan for managing their condition.
Medicines optimisation for older people
Older people often have complex health needs due to multiple co-morbidities and age-related changes in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.
Polypharmacy, usual defined as greater than four or more medicines and inappropriate prescribing are common in older people and are associated with adverse outcomes. One key aspect of medicines optimisation in this context is the discontinuation of inappropriate medicines termed 'deprescribing'.
The group is interested in issues such as:
- barriers and facilitators to deprescribing
- patient views and experiences of deprescribing
- how to effectively and safely withdraw medicines
The group is also interested in development of strategies supporting older people and their carers to enable the safe and effective use of medicines. The group contributes to the Alzheimer's Society Doctoral Training Centre at the University of Bradford.
The group supports the Medicines Optimisation theme within the University's Digital Health Enterprise Zone (Academic).