GP training intervention further targets benzodiazepine prescribing rates

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Jul 25, 2018 | Latest news | Media releases

New research published by GP Synergy in the Journal of General Internal Medicine1 has found that GP registrars’ benzodiazepine prescribing decreased significantly during the period 2010-2015, on average at a rate of 6% per year.

The results are from the Registrar Clinical Encounters in Training (ReCEnT) project – a research study that has so far recorded more than 300,000 clinical encounters recorded by 2,300 GP registrars.

GP Synergy Director of Education Training, Dr Vanessa Moran, welcomed the research findings.

“The reasons doctors prescribe benzodiazepines are complex, multifactorial and may not be in the best interest of the patient in the long term, so efforts to understand and reduce benzodiazepine prescribing must address these.

“The reduction in prescribing is very positive, and to further target this issue, we are implementing a multi-component educational initiative aimed at GP registrars and their supervisors during training.

“The education initiative focuses on both providing GP registrars with skills in non-pharmacological management of anxiety and insomnia, as well as providing supervisors with the skills to help registrars implement this at the practice level,” Dr Moran said.

Professor Parker Magin, Director of GP Synergy’s Research and Evaluation Unit coordinates the ReCEnT project that began as a pilot project in 2009 and is now a large collaborative venture involving regional training organisations and academics across Australia.

“ReCEnT is a powerful tool for informing the design and delivery of GP training, providing a strong evidence base to address specific needs in registrar education.

“Given the scientific rigour in the design, collection and analysis of ReCEnT data, it provides the best opportunity to understand whether an intervention is necessary, and if so whether an intervention in education and training makes a change and the nature of that change,” Professor Magin said.


1 Magin P, Tapley A, Dunlop A, Davey A, van Driel M, Holliday E, Morgan S, Henderson K, Ball J, Catzikiris N, Mulquiney K, Spike N, Kerr R, Holliday S., Changes in early-career general practitioners’ benzodiazepine prescribing: a longitudinal analysis. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2018