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The Ambiguous Reality of Prescribing in Geriatric Practice

  • Philip D. Sloane
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to Philip D. Sloane, MD, MPH, Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research and Departments of Family Medicine and Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 725 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, CB 7590, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.
    Affiliations
    Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research and Departments of Family Medicine and Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
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  • Joshua D. Niznik
    Affiliations
    Division of Geriatric Medicine and Center for Aging and Health, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
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      Every medical care provider wants to do the right thing. The challenge in care of older persons is that the “right” thing is often unclear. Older patients have extraordinary physiological, functional, and prognostic diversity, and this means that one-size-fits-all protocols and algorithms have far less utility than they do for younger populations. Older patients rarely, if ever, have just 1 medical problem; so research findings may be difficult to generalize to the patient in front of you. Furthermore, for many patient groups—long-term care residents being a prime example—research is so limited that the “evidence base” consists largely of “expert opinion.” On top of these challenges is that, in comparison to younger populations, older patients are more likely to suffer adverse consequences from both action and inaction.
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      Related Podcast

      June 15, 2022

      June 2022 Issue: Drug Prescribing Dilemmas in Geriatric Medicine

      Host: Dr. Karl Steinberg. Featuring Dr. Philip Sloane, Dr. Mallory Brown, special guest: Josh Niznik, PharmD. Recorded on May 25, 2022.

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