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Editor's Correspondence
October 8, 2007

Medicating Grief With Benzodiazepines: Physician and Patient Perspectives

Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(18):2006-2007. doi:10.1001/archinte.167.18.2006

Recently we reported a study of prescribing patterns of benzodiazepines to elderly patients, using data from in-depth semistructured interviews with physicians.1 The main finding was that none of the physicians believed that benzodiazepine use was a serious clinical problem in older adults, contrary to all major academically generated guidelines on the subject. In fact, the majority minimized the potential adverse effects of benzodiazepines, while also expressing pessimism about their ability to discontinue use of these medications successfully in long-term users. In addition, we identified an unexpected prescribing pattern using the same methods as described herein.

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