Developing and implementing shared decision-making tool to facilitate deprescribing statins in the elderly


The overall aim for this research is to develop a decision-making tool for patients/family, to facilitate understanding of the deprescribing process and to ultimately encourage effective, collaborative communication between patients, family, and clinicians.


Associate Professor Ilona Juraskova

Research Location

School of Psychology

Program Type



Statins have been the most prescribed drug for more than 10 years in Australia, with more than 2 million Australians are currently taking this medication. Statins are the drug of choice in treating high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Yet, older people who do not have high cholesterol but are considered at increased CVD risk based on their age, may be taking these meds without sufficient evidence of benefits but with increased risk of harm. Common adverse effects of statins include myopathy, myalgia and a decline in cognitive function - a concern already present for the elderly. Indeed, there have been growing concerns regarding side effect of this medication, particularly in the elderly since the risk of side effects with medications increases with age. A challenge commonly faced by prescribing clinicians is determining when the potential harms outweigh the benefits. While guidelines for deprescribing for clinicians exist, there is a lack of patient resources for deprescribing statins. Shared decision-making is a major component of deprescribing, and this research aims to bridge the gap between clinicians and patient/family, and to implement strategies that would facilitate a more cohesive approach to reducing medication burden in elderly. This is a crucial area of research and with the correct tools and resources, patients will likely feel more confident in approaching their health care professionals about the possibility of medication reduction and adhering clinicians’ recommendations.

Additional Information

HDR Inherent Requirements

In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include:

- Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;
- Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
- Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;
- Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);
- Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;
- Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden);
- Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;
- Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);
- Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;
- Hold a current scuba diving license;
- Hold a current Working with Children Check;
- Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.)

You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

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Statins, elderly, deprescribing

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 2677

Other opportunities with Associate Professor Ilona Juraskova