Which docs overprescribe? Study reports "An Easy Method of Detection."
Whoops, that was just wishful thinking.
I receive a few "alert" emails regarding psychology-related research as it gets published.
This headline, from "Journal Watch-Psychiatry," caught my eye:
"Who Overuses Headache Medications? "An Easy Method of Detection."
I thought the study might help me tell which docs over-prescribe. I thought there might be some brief questionnaire, with items such as:
"has the doc recently been visited by a drug rep?"
"Is the doc holding a pen advertising a new headache remedy?"
"Does the doc's staff look well-fed?"
No such luck.
The study actually reports a measure for determining whether a patient might be over-using headache meds. Well, I guess that is helpful.
If you are interested, the study is:
R B Grande, K Aaseth, J altyt Benth, P Gulbrandsen, M B Russell, C Lundqvist. The Severity of Dependence Scale detects people with medication overuse: the Akershus study of chronic headache. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 2009;80:784-789.
But what we really need is a measure to tell us what docs are over-prescribing. Wouldn't it be good if you, or your family member, was visiting a doc for some problem, and you wondered whether the meds pushed on you were actually useful and warranted, or just pushed because the doc is in some pmarma-sponsored program to win a vacation, and to answer the question, you had a validated questionnaire?
Maybe that will be published soon. Who knows.