Physicians with beliefs about long-term harms of benzodiazepine are less likely to prescribe it

Physicians with beliefs about long-term harms of benzodiazepine are less likely to prescribe it
Linking a Survey of Clinician Benzodiazepine-related Beliefs to Risk of Benzodiazepine Prescription Fills Among Patients in Medicare. Credit: The Annals of Family Medicine (2022). DOI: 10.1370/afm.2883

Despite the continuing growth of benzodiazepine (BZD)-related overdoses, BZD prescription rates have held constant. Much is unknown about how a doctor's own beliefs about BZD use and potential harm to patients might influence their willingness to prescribe the drug.

Using a Medicare database, researchers identified who had prescribed a BZD in 2017 and surveyed a random sample of 100 doctors on their attitudes around BZD prescribing. Approximately 62% of clinician respondents reported that they disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement, "If a patient has been prescribed a benzodiazepine for years, the potential harms from continuing the benzodiazepine are low," while 18.0% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement.

When clinicians believed that the potential harms from continuing BZDs were low for patients on long-term treatment, they were more likely to prescribe a BZD to for whom they cared.

The research was published in The Annals of Family Medicine.

More information: Donovan T. Maust et al, Linking a survey of clinician benzodiazepine-related beliefs to risk of benzodiazepine prescription fills among patients in Medicare, The Annals of Family Medicine (2022). DOI: 10.1370/afm.2883

Journal information: Annals of Family Medicine
Citation: Physicians with beliefs about long-term harms of benzodiazepine are less likely to prescribe it (2022, November 29) retrieved 25 May 2024 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-11-physicians-beliefs-long-term-benzodiazepine.html
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