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Nancy Li Schoenborn, MD, MHS

Communication Working Group


Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

“As a geriatrician practicing in primary care, I see a lot of patients with polypharmacy,” Dr. Schoenborn said when we asked her about what motivated her to engage in the deprescriping research space; she continued, “Reducing unnecessary or inappropriate interventions and aligning the care we provide with patient priorities are at the core of my research agenda.”

Dr. Schoenborn takes patient priorities seriously as she provides clinical care, and she has seen the very real benefits deprescribing has had on patients’ lives. She shared one such significant patient story: “I can remember a new patient who came to me with cognitive decline, fatigue, and the family was really worried about her and was about to make a decision to change her living situation–she was living independently and alone at the time. I noticed right away that she was on several potentially inappropriate medications, and that these symptoms could be the side effects. We gradually stopped several of these medications over the next few months. Her cognitive testing improved significantly, and she was able to stay living independently. It was very gratifying to see.”

Dr. Schoenborn is a valued and active member in USDEN. “I enjoy the people; it’s amazing to brainstorm and move the field forward with some of the most accomplished and brilliant people in the world working on this topic,” she said.  And the admiration is mutual! We are proud to play a role in Dr. Schoenborn’s investigations into deprescribing research. “Being part of USDEN has exposed me to the cutting-edge updates in deprescribing research; it has helped me connect and network with other researchers around the world with similar interests to build collaborations,” Dr. Schoenborn said. In particular, she values the multi-perspective community in our community, and mentioned, “I have also learned a lot from the stakeholders, both in how the network engages stakeholders, and more importantly, the perspectives that our stakeholders bring to discussions.”

Dr. Schoenborn collaborated on several projects as part of USDEN. Of particular noteworthiness, she collaborated with Dr. Green and others to study communication about deprescribing. This research has informed our work within the USDEN communication working group to generate a framework about deprescribing communication. Additionally, Dr. Schoenborn collaborated with Dr. Scott Pilla and his team about deprescribing of diabetes medications in older adults, the findings of which suggested that there may be similarities in decision-making about deprescribing as in stopping cancer screening (her prior research focus); so now she is thinking about decision-making more broadly in deimplementation of interventions.  Additionally, Dr. Schoenborn collaborated with Dr. Sarah Vordenberg and her team about decision-making about deprescribing across four countries, and she said, “This was a really fun collaboration where I learned a lot from colleagues in other countries and health systems.”

We look forward to seeing what deprescribing research collaborations she works on next, and most importantly—their findings!

Recent Research

Patient-preferred language to achieve goal-aligned deprescribing in older adults

Association between willingness to deprescribe and health outcome priorities among U.S. older adults: results of a national survey

A Qualitative Study of Perspectives of Older Adults on Deintensifying Diabetes Medications

A national physician survey of deintensifying diabetes medications for older adults with type 2 diabetes

A National Survey of Physicians’ Views on the Importance and Implementation of Deintensifying Diabetes Medications

Harm and medication-type impact agreement with hypothetical deprescribing recommendations: A vignette-based experiment with older adults across four countries


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