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  2. Caregivers' perspectives and experiences of withdrawing acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and memantine in advanced dementia: a qualitative analysis of an online discussion forum

Caregivers' perspectives and experiences of withdrawing acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and memantine in advanced dementia: a qualitative analysis of an online discussion forum

Background: There is considerable uncertainty surrounding the medications used to delay the progression of dementia, especially their long-term efficacy and when to withdraw treatment with these agents. Current research regarding the optimal use of antidementia medication is limited, contributing to variability in practice guidelines and in clinicians' prescribing practices. Little is currently known about the experiences encountered by caregivers of people with dementia after antidementia medication is withdrawn. Aim: To investigate the experiences and perspectives of carers and family members when antidementia medications (cholinesterase inhibitors and/or memantine) are stopped, by analysing archived threads and posts of an online discussion forum for people affected by dementia. Methods: Archived discussions from Talking Point, an online discussion forum hosted by the Alzheimer's Society UK, were searched for threads discussing antidementia medication withdrawal and relevant threads were analysed thematically using the Framework method. Participant demographics were not established due to usernames which ensured anonymity. Results: Four key themes emerged: (1) expectations about withdrawal, (2) method of withdrawal, (3) clinical condition on withdrawal, and (4) the effect of withdrawal on caregivers. Conclusions: Online discussion forums such as Talking Point provide dementia carers with an outlet to seek help, offer advice and share experiences with other members. The study findings highlight the complexity surrounding optimising dementia pharmacotherapy and antidementia medication withdrawal, highlighting the need for treatment to be person-centred and highly individualised. 

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Key Information

Type of Reference
Jour
Type of Work
Journal article
Publisher
BioMed Central
ISBN/ISSN
1472684X
Publication Year
2019
Issue Number
6
Journal Titles
BMC Palliative Care
Volume Number
18