Psychotropic drug prescriptions in Western European nursing homes.

For many years there have been warnings and guidelines in Europe related to the use of psychotropic drugs in dementia. This study by Janus et al. (2016) examined prescription of psychotropic drugs in nursing homes in Western Europe, including homes in Ireland. High levels of anti-psychotic and anti-depressant prescription were found across Europe with Ireland being among 3 countries with the highest level of anti-psychotic drug use. The study differentiated between the general nursing home population and dementia patients only with Norway having low anti-psychotic use among both populations. The authors suggest that some differences may be explained by the way care is organised in different countries or by differing institutional prescribing cultures. They acknowledge the limitations of the review, in so far as the studies reviewed had differing inclusion and exclusion criteria, there were potential unknown differences in patient characteristics or stage of dementia and in some studies a lack of differentiation between anti-psychotic and anti-depressant use. However the study points to common usage of anti-psychotics despite clinical warnings and guidance and suggests more practice based guidelines may be required.
Title: 
Psychotropic drug prescriptions in Western European nursing homes.
Date: 
2016
Theme or key words: 
References: 
Janus, S.I., van Manen, J.G., IJzerman, M.J. and Zuidema, S.U., 2016. Psychotropic drug prescriptions in Western European nursing homes. International psychogeriatrics, 28(11), pp.1775-1790.