Prevalence of Psychotropic Drug Use in Adults with Intellectual Disability: Positive and Negative Findings from a Large Scale Study.
ABSTRACT The use of psychotropics by categories and the reason for their prescription was investigated in a large scale study of 4,069 adults with ID, including those with autism spectrum disorder, in New York State. Similar to other studies it was found that 58 % (2,361/4,069) received one or more psychotropics. Six percent received typical, 6 % received typical, while 39 % received atypical antipsychotics. There was greater use of antidepressants (23 %), mood stabilizers (19 %), and antianxiety agents (16 %) relative to other studies. The use of anti-impulsives, stimulants and hypnotics was rare (1-2 %). Half of the psychotropics were prescribed for treatment of major psychiatric disorders, 13 % for control of challenging behaviors, and 38 % for both. Results indicated that the major psychiatric disorders, except anxiety disorder and autism, influenced the use of psychotropics and the number of medication used. These findings imply that although practitioners still rely too heavily on the use of antipsychotics in this population, there is a welcome shift in the prescription patterns relative to other studies. The practitioners appeared to use psychotropics primarily to treat diagnosed psychiatric disorders and not just to control aggressive behavior which suggests that evidence-based practice of psychiatry is playing an increasing role in the ID population.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Ira L Cohen, Jan 21, 2014
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ABSTRACT: Relative to other aspects of Down syndrome, remarkably little is known about the psychiatric problems experienced by youth and young adults with this syndrome and if these problems differ from others with intellectual disabilities. Yet adolescence and young adulthood are particularly vulnerable time periods, as they involve multiple life transitions in educational, medical, and other service systems. This study compared the psychiatric diagnoses of 49 adolescent and young adult patients with Down syndrome to 70 patients with other intellectual disabilities (IDs). The groups were similar in age, gender, and level of intellectual impairment. The 119 participants, aged 13 to 29 years (M = 21) were evaluated in one of two specialized psychiatric clinics. In contrast to previous literature, those with Down syndrome versus other IDs had significantly higher rates of psychosis NOS or depression with psychotic features (43% versus 13%). Unlike the ID group, psychosis was predominantly seen in females with Down syndrome. Marked motoric slowing in performing routine daily activities or in expressive language was manifested in 17% of patients with Down syndrome. No group differences were found in anxiety or depressive disorders, and the ID group had significantly higher rates of bipolar and impulse control disorders. These preliminary observations warrant further studies on genetic, neurological, and psychosocial factors that place some young people with Down syndrome or other IDs at high risk for severe psychiatric illness.Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders 12/2015; 7(1):9. DOI:10.1186/s11689-015-9101-1 · 3.71 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Given medical and social advances, the life expectancy of individuals with intellectual disability (ID) has increased dramatically, leading to a generation of older individuals with such disabilities. This review focuses on the pharmacological treatment of behavioral and psychiatric symptoms and disorders in older adults with ID. Older adults with ID often present with medical co-morbidities and mental health issues. Medication management of behavioral and psychiatric problems is complicated by a higher risk for adverse events, lack of decision-making capacity, and complex care networks. Some studies have shown that individuals with ID and co-morbid mental disorders are undertreated in comparison with those with similar disorders in the general population, resulting in poorer outcomes. However, older adults with ID are also at risk of polypharmacy, and older age is a risk factor for development of side effects. A general principle is that medication treatment for psychiatric disorders in older individuals with ID should be started at low dosages and increased cautiously while monitoring response and side effects. The use of psychotropic drugs for older individuals with ID and behavioral problems remains controversial, particularly in those with dementia.Drugs & Aging 01/2015; 32(2). DOI:10.1007/s40266-014-0236-7 · 2.50 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The DASH-II scale is a specific instrument for measuring psychopathological symptoms in people with severe and profound intellectual disability (ID). The aim of the study is the validation of the Spanish version, evaluating its reliability and validity. At the same time we examine the prevalence of mental disorders in our sample. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Two reviewers independently passed the Spanish version of the DASH-II (DASH-II-S) to 83 users to establish inter-rater reliability. To assess inter-rater reliability or test-retest reliability, fifty participants were reassessed by the same rater within 7 days. RESULTS: DASH-II-S showed good internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha=0.879) and good reliability, both intra and inter-rater reliability. The prevalence of psychopathology in the sample is 94%, and the use of psychotropic drugs is also high, with 61.4% receiving one or more antipsychotics. CONCLUSIONS: DASH-II-S is a valid and reliable instrument that can be used for the assessment of psychopathology in people with ID. The translated version retains the psychometric properties of the original English version. Moreover, the high prevalence of mental disorders in this population may explain the widespread use of psychotropic drugs, but it forces us to continuous reassessment and justification.Research in Developmental Disabilities 11/2014; 36C:537-542. DOI:10.1016/j.ridd.2014.10.034 · 3.40 Impact Factor