Course Description

When is it appropriate to discontinue regular medications for hospice patients and how can clinical staff facilitate this change for patients and families? Well beyond explaining that “this medicine is no longer appropriate,” we need to be sensitive to the importance of such transitions. This plenary  will highlight an approach to deprescribing that incorporates both the evidence behind discontinuing mediations and the art of making recommendations to patients and families while also addressing their concerns and fears. Drs. McPherson and Talebreza will discuss practical tips and strategies to help you provide the highest quality of care while discontinuing the medications that are no longer beneficial for sustaining life or effective in providing comfort.

CE/CME Offered
No CE/CME Credit Available

1.0 hours


  • Describe a consistent process to evaluate the appropriateness of medications for a patient with a serious illness, weighing the benefits and burdens of therapy
  • Describe the evidence regarding continuing or discontinuing medications for Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease
  • Use a validated approach to conversational approaches to discontinuing medications, engaging patients, informal caregivers, and practitioners in the community

Subject Matter Expert

Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD, MA, MDE, BCPS, CPE

Mary Lynn McPherson is Professor and Executive Director, Advanced Post-Graduate Education in Palliative Care in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore. Dr. McPherson has a Master’s degree in Instructional Systems Development, and a Masters in Distance Education and e-Learning. Dr. McPherson has maintained a practice in both hospice (local and national) and ambulatory care her entire career. Dr. McPherson teaches extensively in the Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum on pain management and end of life care, including didactic and experiential content. She is the Program Director of the Online Master of Science and Graduate Certificates in Palliative Care at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She also developed one of the first and few palliative care pharmacy residencies in the U.S. Dr. McPherson has won numerous awards for teaching, and her innovative practice in end of life care. She has published numerous articles, chapters, and four books including the best-selling “Demystifying Opioid Conversion Calculations: A Guide for Effective Dosing.”

Shaida Talebreza, MD, FAAHPM, HMDC, AGSF

Talebreza serves as Associate Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Utah. She is the Medical Director for Bristol Hospice (a training site for the University of Utah), and also serves as a geriatrician and palliative care specialist for the George E. Wahlen, Salt Lake City Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She is board certified in family medicine, geriatric medicine, and hospice and palliative medicine. Her main clinical focus is providing compassionate, comprehensive care to older adults with life-limiting illness. Dr. Talebreza strives to promote geriatric palliative care education nationally. She serves on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and on the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) Education Committee. She serves as the project leader of the Geriatrics Evaluation and Management Tools, an AGS educational publication.

Faculty: Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD, MA, MDE, BCPS, CPE and Shaida Talebreza, MD, FAAHPM, HMDC, AGSF have no relevant financial relationships to disclose. Planners: Barbara L. Bouton, MA, FT and Jennifer Kennedy, MA, BSN, RN, have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.


In order to complete this online activity, participants must view the course in its entirety and complete the evaluation. You will have 90 days to access this course from the date of purchase.


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Additional Info

Release Date
October 20, 2018

Expiration Date
October 20, 2021