The variability of prescribing antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes

shutterstock_179579750

The March International Psychogeriatrics Article of the Month is entitled ‘Variability between nursing homes in prevalence of antipsychotic use in patients with dementia’ by Bart C. Kleijer, Rob J. van Marum, Dinnus H. M. Frijters et al.

Patients with dementia are often treated with antipsychotic drugs (APD) to alleviate behavioural symptoms, even though there is little evidence of their efficacy for this indication and it has never been shown that long-term APD therapy in patients with dementia positively influences quality of life.

Despite uncertainties about the benefits and risks of APDs in the elderly, the prevalence of APD use in the elderly population remains high, especially in long term care facilities (LTCF) globally.

The objective of the authors’ study was to examine if differences in facility-level prevalence of APD use in a sample of LTCFs for patients with dementia can be explained by patient and facility-related characteristics.

In total, 20 LTCFs in The Netherlands providing care for 1,090 patients with dementia were investigated. Overall, 31% of patients used an APD. Facilities with a high prevalence of APD use were often large, situated in urban communities, and scored below average on staffing, personal care, and recreational activities.

There was considerable variation between the participating LTCFs in the prevalence of APD use. Variability was related to LTCF characteristics and patient satisfaction. This indicated potential inappropriate prescribing because of differences in institutional prescribing culture.

Alice Bonner, the commentary paper author observed, “The authors make the point that in many countries, rates of APD use in people with dementia living in nursing homes are high nationally, despite a documented lack of efficacy of these drugs in this population. This presents a golden opportunity for the international dementia care community to come together and actively promote and test person-centered, individualized solutions and new models of nursing home care.”

 

The full paper “Variability between nursing homes in prevalence of antipsychotic use in patients with dementia” is available free of charge for one month here.

The commentary on the paper, “Dementia care in nursing homes: a golden opportunity” is also available free of charge for one month here.

 

 

Advertisements

One Response to The variability of prescribing antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes

  1. Rosemary Jones says:

    Rather than give anti stress medications wouldn’t it’d be better to remove the causes of stress – non empathetic staff, perhaps disrespectful clients and gossiping, synthetic furnishings, toxic cleaning and washing materials, overcooked foods, pesticides in food, too much sugar and fatty foods, unaired rooms and not enough to do ?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: