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      Improving medication management in multimorbidity: development of the MultimorbiditY COllaborative Medication Review And DEcision Making (MY COMRADE) intervention using the Behaviour Change Wheel

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          Multimorbidity, the presence of two or more chronic conditions, affects over 60 % of patients in primary care. Due to its association with polypharmacy, the development of interventions to optimise medication management in patients with multimorbidity is a priority. The Behaviour Change Wheel is a new approach for applying behavioural theory to intervention development. Here, we describe how we have used results from a review of previous research, original research of our own and the Behaviour Change Wheel to develop an intervention to improve medication management in multimorbidity by general practitioners (GPs), within the overarching UK Medical Research Council guidance on complex interventions.


          Following the steps of the Behaviour Change Wheel, we sought behaviours associated with medication management in multimorbidity by conducting a systematic review and qualitative study with GPs. From the modifiable GP behaviours identified, we selected one and conducted a focused behavioural analysis to explain why GPs were or were not engaging in this behaviour. We used the behavioural analysis to determine the intervention functions, behavioural change techniques and implementation plan most likely to effect behavioural change.


          We identified numerous modifiable GP behaviours in the systematic review and qualitative study, from which active medication review (rather than passive maintaining the status quo) was chosen as the target behaviour. Behavioural analysis revealed GPs’ capabilities, opportunities and motivations relating to active medication review. We combined the three intervention functions deemed most likely to effect behavioural change (enablement, environmental restructuring and incentivisation) to form the MultimorbiditY COllaborative Medication Review And DEcision Making (MY COMRADE) intervention. MY COMRADE primarily involves the technique of social support: two GPs review the medications prescribed to a complex multimorbid patient together. Four other behavioural change techniques are incorporated: restructuring the social environment, prompts/cues, action planning and self-incentives.


          This study is the first to use the Behaviour Change Wheel to develop an intervention targeting multimorbidity and confirms the usability and usefulness of the approach in a complex area of clinical care. The systematic development of the MY COMRADE intervention will facilitate a thorough evaluation of its effectiveness in the next phase of this work.

          Electronic supplementary material

          The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13012-015-0322-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references 14

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          Potential pitfalls of disease-specific guidelines for patients with multiple conditions.

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            Prevalence of polypharmacy in a Scottish primary care population.

            Polypharmacy-the use of multiple medications by a single patient-is an important issue associated with various adverse clinical outcomes and rising costs. It is also a topic rarely addressed by clinical guidelines. We used routine Scottish health records to address the lack of data on the prevalence of polypharmacy in the broader, adult primary care population, particularly in relation to long-term conditions.
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              The medical office of the 21st century (MOXXI): effectiveness of computerized decision-making support in reducing inappropriate prescribing in primary care.

              Adverse drug-related events are common in the elderly, and inappropriate prescribing is a preventable risk factor. Our objective was to determine whether inappropriate prescribing could be reduced when primary care physicians had computer-based access to information on all prescriptions dispensed and automated alerts for potential prescribing problems. We randomly assigned 107 primary care physicians with at least 100 patients aged 66 years and older (total 12 560) to a group receiving computerized decision-making support (CDS) or a control group. Physicians in the CDS group had access to information on current and past prescriptions through a dedicated computer link to the provincial seniors' drug-insurance program. When any of 159 clinically relevant prescribing problems were identified by the CDS software, the physician received an alert that identified the nature of the problem, possible consequences and alternative therapy. The rate of initiation and discontinuation of potentially inappropriate prescriptions was assessed over a 13-month period. In the 2 months before the study, 31.8% of the patients in the CDS group and 33.3% of those in the control group had at least 1 potentially inappropriate prescription. During the study the number of new potentially inappropriate prescriptions per 1000 visits was significantly lower (18%) in the CDS group than in the control group (relative rate [RR] 0.82, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.69-0.98), but differences between the groups in the rate of discontinuation of potentially inappropriate prescriptions were significant only for therapeutic duplication by the study physician and another physician (RR 1.66, 95% CI 0.99-2.79) and drug interactions caused by prescriptions written by the study physician (RR 2.15, 95% CI 0.98-4.70). Computer-based access to complete drug profiles and alerts about potential prescribing problems reduces the rate of initiation of potentially inappropriate prescriptions but has a more selective effect on the discontinuation of such prescriptions.

                Author and article information

                Implement Sci
                Implement Sci
                Implementation Science : IS
                BioMed Central (London )
                24 September 2015
                24 September 2015
                : 10
                [ ]Department of General Practice, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
                [ ]General Practice and Primary Care, Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
                [ ]Cambridge Centre for Health Services Research, Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
                [ ]Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Evaluation, Bangor University, Bangor, UK
                [ ]Health Behaviour Change Research Group, School of Psychology, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
                © Sinnott et al. 2015

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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