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Med Care. 2012 Nov;50(11):954-60. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0b013e31825fb21d.

Use of antipsychotics among older residents in VA nursing homes.

Author information

  • 1Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, 7180 Highland Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15206, USA. walid.gellad@va.gov

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Antipsychotic medications are commonly prescribed to nursing home residents despite their well-established adverse event profiles. Because little is known about their use in Veterans Affairs (VA) nursing homes [ie, Community Living Centers (CLCs)], we assessed the prevalence and risk factors for antipsychotic use in older residents of VA CLCs.

METHODS:

This cross-sectional study included 3692 Veterans age 65 or older who were admitted between January 2004 and June 2005 to one of 133 VA CLCs and had a stay of ≥90 days. We used VA Pharmacy Benefits Management data to examine antipsychotic use and VA Medical SAS datasets and the Minimum Data Set to identify evidence-based indications for antipsychotic use (eg, schizophrenia, dementia with psychosis). We used multivariable logistic regression and generalized estimating equations to identify factors independently associated with antipsychotic receipt.

RESULTS:

Overall, 948/3692(25.7%) residents received an antipsychotic, of which 59.3% had an evidence-based indication for use. Residents with aggressive behavior [odds ratio (OR)=2.74, 95% confidence interval (CI), 2.04-3.67] and polypharmacy (9+ drugs; OR=1.84, 95% CI, 1.41-2.40) were more likely to receive antipsychotics, as were users of antidepressants (OR=1.37, 95% CI, 1.14-1.66), anxiolytic/hypnotics (OR=2.30, 95% CI, 1.64-3.23), or drugs for dementia (OR=1.52, 95% CI, 1.21-1.92). Those residing in Alzheimer/dementia special care units were also more likely to receive an antipsychotic (OR=1.66, 95% CI, 1.26-2.21). Veterans with dementia but no documented psychosis were as likely as those with an evidence-based indication to receive an antipsychotic (OR=1.10, 95% CI, 0.82-1.47).

CONCLUSIONS:

Antipsychotic use is common among VA nursing home residents aged 65 and older, including those without a documented evidence-based indication for use. Further quality improvement efforts are needed to reduce potentially inappropriate antipsychotic prescribing.

PMID:
23047785
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3746977
Free PMC Article
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