Rebecca Conroy and Anna Strewler, Hartford Scholarship recipients, and AGNP students graduating this Spring presented the poster: "Polyherbacy: A Grey Area in Clinical Care" at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), in Orlando Florida, May 15, 2014. This poster compliments the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Internal Medicine article recently published and co-authored with their mentor Helen Kao, Geriatrican, Associate Professor, UCSF Geriatrics Division. A link to the Journal of American Medical Association publication "Approach to Overuse of Herbal and Dietary Supplements" can be found here: http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1876678 and a description of the poster can be found below.
"Polyherbacy: A Grey Area in Clinical Care"
Presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of American Geriatrics Society (AGS), in Orlando Florida, May 15, 2014
A case study focusing on an 80 year old patient who presented to geriatrics clinic with over 50 supplements and herbs, incurring approximately $36,000 yearly and significant financial strain. Literature reviewed both few safety concerns and little evidence of efficacy for most of his supplements, yet little research existed. The patient was presented with these findings and a process of shared decision-making was commenced, using the recommendations of colleague pharmacists to taper or discontinue the majority of his supplements, while still treating his existing medical conditions and complaints. In this case, we present a suggested approach for older patients with "polyherbacy," or the inappropriate or excessive use of dietary supplements. Major take aways are that 1) polyherbacy affects the health and finances of older adults, 2) polyherbacy presents a grey area in geriatric medicine, with a need for increased clinician training, and 3) clinicians should engage in an ongoing discussion of evidence of both efficacy and harms with patients.