Psychotropic medication use and association with physical and psychosocial outcomes in nursing home residents

Assistant Professor Professor, University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD, USA.
Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing (Impact Factor: 0.84). 04/2012; 20(3). DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2850.2012.01911.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Psychotropic medications are commonly prescribed for older adults living in long-term care settings. Use of these medications has been associated with negative functional outcomes. The purpose of this study was to describe the prevalence of psychotropic medication use among nursing home residents, and to explore the relationship of psychotropic medication use on physical and psychosocial outcomes. A secondary data analysis was done using baseline measures from the Res-Care Intervention Study. The sample included 419 residents from 12 nursing homes. There were 288 participants (69%) who were prescribed at least one psychotropic medication, with 81 participants (19%) receiving antipsychotics, 248 (59%) receiving antidepressants, 50 (12%) receiving anxiolytics and 37 (9%) receiving sedative/hypnotics. Controlling for gender, age and cognition, physical outcomes were significantly lower in residents receiving psychotropic medications (F= 3.2, P= 0.01) compared to those not receiving psychotropic medications. Psychosocial outcomes were significantly lower in those residents receiving psychotropic mediations (F= 2.0, P= 0.04). The findings from this study provide additional support for the prevalence of psychotropic medication use among nursing home residents and suggest that residents receiving psychotropic medications may be less likely to engage in functional activities and experience decreased quality of life.

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