Aim: Unnecessary medications are defined as medications that provide no benefit in terms of survival, quality of life, or symptom control for this particular population. However, there is limited data available to guide as to which medications are appropriate to be prescribed. This study focuses on the use of unnecessary medications in hospice patients, using standards of practice in palliative care. Materials and methods: This was a retrospective study involving chart review of hospice patients. Descriptive and inferential statistics were conducted. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 24. Result: 53 chart reviews were conducted. 62% of the study population was taking atleast one unnecessary medication. Vitamins/ minerals were the most frequently prescribed unnecessary medications. Conclusion: Results of this study suggest that hospice patients were on medications that did not provide any therapeutic benefit. By identifying unnecessary medications in this population, the economic burden on healthcare costs and the adverse events associated with these medications can be significantly reduced.
Key words: Unnecessary medications, Hospice, Life expectancy, Palliative care.