• Resource Type: Toolkit
  • Posted On: October 15, 2018
  • Author/Source: Dr. Barbara Farrell and Dr. Cara Tannenbaum
  • Audience(s): Clinicians, Educators, HR/Operations, Leaders & Managers, Nurses, PSW, Quality, Resident Support Aide, Social Workers

Online tools for optimizing seniors’ medication use

Deprescribing is the planned and supervised process of reducing or stopping a medication that may be causing harm or no longer be of benefit.

The Bruyère Deprescribing Guidelines Research Team, a partner of Ontario CLRI, have created bilingual tools and resources to help health-care professionals and residents make shared decisions on whether or not a medication is still the right fit:

  1. Five evidence-based guidelines that help health-care providers make informed assessments of a resident’s medication and explore possibilities for non-drug treatments.
  2. Pamphlets that empower residents to engage in their health care. These pamphlets provide key questions residents can ask their care team about their medications and explain deprescribing in plain language.


Studies on the making of the guidelines and algorithms have been published in Canadian Family Physician. The studies detail the process of gathering evidence and consulting primary care professionals for developing, reviewing and endorsing the guidelines. 

Kevin Pottie, Wade Thompson, Simon Davies, Jean Grenier, Cheryl A. Sadowski, Vivian Welch, Anne Holbrook, Cynthia Boyd, Robert Swenson, Andy Ma and Barbara Farrell

Canadian Family Physician May 2018, 64 (5) 339-351;

Lise M. Bjerre, Barbara Farrell, Matthew Hogel, Lyla Graham, Geneviève Lemay, Lisa McCarthy, Lalitha Raman-Wilms, Carlos Rojas-Fernandez, Samir Sinha, Wade Thompson, Vivian Welch and Andrew Wiens

Canadian Family Physician January 2018, 64 (1) 17-27;

Barbara Farrell, Cody Black, Wade Thompson, Lisa McCarthy, Carlos Rojas-Fernandez, Heather Lochnan, Salima Shamji, Ross Upshur, Manon Bouchard and Vivian Welch

Canadian Family Physician November 2017, 63 (11) 832-843;

Barbara Farrell, Kevin Pottie, Wade Thompson, Taline Boghossian, Lisa Pizzola, Farah Joy Rashid, Carlos Rojas-Fernandez, Kate Walsh, Vivian Welch and Paul Moayyedi

Canadian Family Physician May 2017, 63 (5) 354-364;

Author/Source was created by Dr. Barbara Farrell and Dr. Cara Tannenbaum a pharmacist and physician respectively who are concerned with the rising use of medications in the aging population.

The development of the algorithms was supported by the Ontario Pharmacy Research Collaboration (OPEN) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Links Website 

Visit to learn more about deprescribing tools and resources.

Webinar – Shared Decision Making

This webinar highlights common elements of the deprescribing process and demonstrate approaches to engaging patients through shared decision-making.

Webinar – The Role of Community Pharmacists in Deprescribing

This webinar highlights research that explores how pharmacists practicing in community settings can embrace their roles as key partners in deprescribing as one strategy for tackling the global problem of medication-related harm.

Webinar – Alternative Supports for Deprescribing from Antidepressants

This webinar discusses how major depression can be difficult to treat, and how clinicians can sometimes feel constrained in choices of how to treat it (i.e., medications vs talk therapy). Other modalities with strong supporting evidence are presented along with suggestions on how these can be integrated into a deprescribing decision tree.

Article – What’s In Your Medicine Cabinet?

This article originally appeared in AdvantAge Ontario and discusses deprescribing for LTC homes.

Supported by:

Bruyere Logo Deprescribing Logo

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