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What is this study about? the Australian TAPERdem study

Friday, January 22nd, 2021

Team Approach to Polypharmacy Evaluation and Reduction for General Practice patients with dementia: the Australian TAPERdem study

What is this study about?

Researchers from University of Western Australia are part of a study testing a way of helping General Practitioners (GPs) manage medications for patients who are living with dementia. This includes possibly reducing the number of medicines a person takes (known as deprescribing).

People living with Dementia often take many medicines.  Some of these medicines can cause side effects. In earlier studies, researchers found some people with dementia continue to take medicines that may no longer benefit them or where the benefits are less than the risk of side effects. The study is testing a way pharmacists and GPs can work together to safely reduce the number of medicines a person with dementia takes (deprescribing).  Researchers want to see if this is helpful for people living with dementia.

Who can take part?

The research team is looking for people living in the Perth community (WA postcodes 6000-6164) who have a diagnosis of dementia (any form) and take five (5) or more medicines. This includes prescribed medicines as well as any over-the-counter and herbal/complimentary medicines.

What does it involve for a participant?

If you are eligible and decide to take part in this study you will be in the study for 1 year (12 months).  A member of the research team will contact you three (3) or four (4) times during the year. Each session will be about 45-60 mins long. Researchers will ask you some questions about your health and medicines. You will continue to visit your GP and your other health care providers as usual.

You will be randomly allocated (like tossing a coin) to either an INTERVENTION or CONTROL group.  If you are in the INTERVENTION group, pharmacist will see if there are medicines that can be safely reduced or stopped. S/he will only suggest stopping medicines of uncertain benefit or where the side effects may be greater than the benefits. You and your GP will decide whether or not to make these changes. If you are in the CONTROL group, you and your GP and pharmacist will continue to manage your medicines as usual.


If you think you are eligible to this study, please sign up today!