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J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2010 Jun;11(5):320-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2010.01.007.

Antidepressant prescribing in US nursing homes between 1996 and 2006 and its relationship to staffing patterns and use of other psychotropic medications.

Author information

1
Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA. jth14@pitt.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Few studies have examined factors associated with antidepressant prescribing in older nursing home residents.

OBJECTIVE:

The primary objective was to describe the change in antidepressant prescribing for nursing home residents between 1996 and 2006. An additional objective was to examine the association between any change in antidepressant prescribing and staffing patterns or coprescribing of other psychotropic medications in the same cohort.

DESIGN:

Longitudinal.

SETTINGS:

Settings were 12,556 US nursing homes in 1996 and 2006.

DATA SOURCES:

Online Survey Certification and Reporting (OSCAR) data and the Area Resource File (ARF).

MEASUREMENTS:

Increasing prescribing of antidepressants analyzed using multivariable multinomial generalized estimating equations (GEE).

RESULTS:

Antidepressant prescribing significantly increased (P < .05) from 21.9% in 1996 to 47.5% in 2006. After controlling for resident, organizational, and market factors, increased antidepressant prescribing was associated with more time spent by physician extenders (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 2.21; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.96-2.51), registered nurses (AOR 1.06, 95% CI 1.02-1.10), or nurse aides (AOR 1.08; 95%CI 1.04-1.12) in a facility, as well as the coprescribing of sedative/hypnotics (AOR 1.12; 95% CI 1.08-1.16). Factors found to be protective of increasing antidepressant prescribing (ie, decrease antidepressant prescribing) included having medical directors and physicians spend more time in the facility (AOR 0.60; 95% CI 0.53-0.69 and AOR 0.62; 95% CI 0.54-0.71, respectively), or coprescribing of antianxiety or antipsychotic agents (AOR 0.70; 95% CI 0.68-0.72 and AOR 0.74; 95% CI 0.72-0.77, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS:

Prescribing of antidepressants has increased dramatically in the past decade in older nursing home residents and seems to be associated with certain staffing characteristics and the coprescribing of psychotropic medications. Further research is needed to determine if antidepressants are appropriately prescribed, and if overuse is determined, develop interventions to improve the quality of prescribing of these medications in older nursing home residents.

PMID:
20511098
PMCID:
PMC2925025
DOI:
10.1016/j.jamda.2010.01.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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