Johan Fastbom

Karolinska Institutet, Solna, Stockholm, Sweden

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Publications (105)315.8 Total impact

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    Johan Fastbom, Kristina Johnell
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    ABSTRACT: Inappropriate drug use is an important health problem in elderly persons. Beginning with the Beers' criteria in the early 1990s, explicit criteria have been extensively used to measure and improve quality of drug use in older people. This article describes the Swedish indicators for quality of drug therapy in the elderly, introduced in 2004 and updated in 2010. These indicators were designed to be applied to people aged 75 years and over, regardless of residence and other characteristics. The indicators are divided into drug specific, covering choice, indication and dosage of drugs, polypharmacy, drug-drug interactions (DDIs), drug use in decreased renal function and in some symptoms; and diagnosis specific, covering the rational, irrational and hazardous drug use in common disorders in elderly people. During the 10 years since introduction, the Swedish indicators have several applications. They form the basis for recommendations for drug therapy in older people, are implemented in prescribing supports and drug utilisation reviews, are used in national benchmarking of the quality of Swedish healthcare and have contributed to initiatives from pensioner organisations. The indicators have also been used in several pharmacoepidemiological studies. Since 2005, there have been signs of improvement of the quality of drug prescribing to elderly persons in Sweden. For example, the prescribing of drugs that should be avoided in older persons decreased by 36 % between 2006 and 2012 in persons aged 80 years and older. Similarly, drug combinations that may cause DDIs decreased by 26 % and antipsychotics by 41 %. The indicators have likely contributed to this.
    Drugs & Aging 02/2015; DOI:10.1007/s40266-015-0242-4 · 2.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aimsto investigate the prevalence of potentially inappropriate medication use among older people in Sweden according to five different published sets of explicit criteria from Europe and the US.Methods Nationwide cross-sectional, register-based study in the entire Sweden in 2008. All individuals aged 65 years and older were included (n = 1,346,709; both community-dwelling and institutionalized persons). We applied all drug-specific criteria included in the 2012 Beers Criteria, the Laroche's list, the PRISCUS list, the NORGEP criteria and the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare criteria. Main outcome was the potentially inappropriate drug use according to each set of criteria, separately and combined. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to identify individual factors associated with the use of potentially inappropriate drugs.ResultsThe prevalence of potentially inappropriate medication use varied between the explicit criteria from 16% (NORGEP criteria) to 24% (2012 Beers criteria). Overall, 38% of the older people were exposed to potentially inappropriate drug use by at least one of the five sets of criteria. While controlling for other possible covariates, female gender, institutionalisation and polypharmacy were systematically associated with inappropriate drug use, regardless of the set of explicit criteria we considered.Conclusion Although explicit criteria for inappropriate drug use among older people have been reported to be quite different in their content, they provide similar measures of the prevalence of potentially inappropriate drug use at the population level.
    British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 02/2015; DOI:10.1111/bcp.12615 · 3.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Telomere length has been associated with longevity. As telomere length is partly determined by the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT), we investigated the association between an hTERT polymorphism located in its promoter region ((-) (1327)T/C) and longevity in two cohorts of older adults. Participants from the Kungsholmen project (KP; n = 1,205) and the Swedish National study of Aging and Care in Kungsholmen (SNAC-K; n = 2,764) were followed for an average period of 7.5 years. The main outcomes were hazard ratios (HR) of mortality and median age at death. In both cohorts, mortality was lower in female T/T carriers, aged 75+ years in KP (HR = 0.8, 95% CI: 0.5-0.9) and 78+ years in SNAC-K (HR = 0.6, 95% CI: 0.4-0.8) compared with female C/C carriers. T/T carriers died 1.8-3 years later than the C/C carriers. This effect was not present in men, neither in SNAC-K women aged 60-72 years. The association was not modified by presence of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, number of chronic diseases, or markers of inflammation, and did not interact with APOE genotype or estrogen replacement therapy. The gender-specific increased survival in T/T carriers can be due to a synergistic effect between genetic background and the life-long exposure to endogenous estrogen. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America.
    The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 11/2014; DOI:10.1093/gerona/glu222 · 4.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mental disorders among older adults are mainly treated with psychotropic drugs. Few of these drugs are, however, prescribed by specialized geriatricians or psychiatrists, but rather from general practitioners (GPs). Socioeconomic inequalities in access to specialist prescribing have been found in younger age groups. Hence, we aimed to investigate whether there are socioeconomic differences in access to geriatrician and psychiatrist prescribing of psychotropic drugs among older adults.
    The European Journal of Public Health 05/2014; DOI:10.1093/eurpub/cku058 · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several measures of medication exposure are associated with adverse outcomes in older people. Exposure to and the clinical outcomes of these measures in robust versus frail older inpatients are not known. In older robust and frail patients admitted to hospital after a fall, we investigated the prevalence and clinical impact of fall-risk-increasing drugs (FRIDs), total number of medications, and drug-drug interactions (DDIs). Patients ≥60 years of age admitted with a fall to a tertiary referral teaching hospital in Sydney were recruited and frailty was assessed. Data were collected at admission, discharge, and 2 months after admission. A total of 204 patients were recruited (mean age 80.5 ± 8.3 years), with 101 robust and 103 frail. On admission, compared with the robust, frail participants had significantly higher mean ± SD number of FRIDs (frail 3.4 ± 2.2 vs. robust 1.6 ± 1.5, P < 0.0001), total number of medications (9.8 ± 4.3 vs. 4.4 ± 3.3, P < 0.0001), and DDI exposure (35 vs. 5 %, P = 0.001). Number of FRIDs on discharge was significantly associated with recurrent falls [odds ratio (OR) 1.7 (95 % confidence interval [CI] 1.3-2.1)], which were most likely to occur with 1.5 FRIDs in the frail and 2.5 FRIDs in the robust. Number of medications on discharge was also associated with recurrent falls [OR 1.2 (1.0-1.3)], but DDIs were not. Exposure to FRIDs and other measures of high-risk medication exposures is common in older people admitted with falls, especially the frail. Number of FRIDs and to a lesser extent total number of medicines at discharge were associated with recurrent falls.
    Drugs & Aging 01/2014; DOI:10.1007/s40266-013-0151-3 · 2.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is substantial variability in the degree of cognitive impairment among older depressed persons. Inconsistencies in previous findings may be due to differences in clinical and demographic characteristics across study samples. We assessed the influence of unipolar depression and severity of depression on cognitive performance in a population-based sample of elderly persons aged ⩾60 years. Method Eighty-nine persons fulfilled ICD-10 criteria for unipolar depression (mild, n = 48; moderate, n = 38; severe, n = 3) after thorough screening for dementia (DSM-IV criteria), psychiatric co-morbidities and antidepressant pharmacotherapy. Participants (n = 2486) were administered an extensive cognitive test battery. Moderate/severe unipolar depression was associated with poorer performance on tasks assessing processing speed, attention, executive function, verbal fluency, episodic memory and vocabulary. Mild depression was associated with poorer performance in processing speed, and few differences between mild and moderate/severe depression were observed. No association between depression and short-term memory, general knowledge or spatial ability was observed. Increasing age did not exacerbate the depression-related cognitive deficits, and the deficits remained largely unchanged after excluding persons in a preclinical phase of dementia. Furthermore, depression-related cognitive deficits were not associated with other pharmacological treatments that may affect cognitive performance. Cognitive deficits in unipolar old-age depression involve a range of domains and the cognitive deficits seem to follow the spectrum of depression severity. The finding that mild depression was also associated with poorer cognitive functioning underscores the importance of detecting mild depression in elderly persons.
    Psychological Medicine 07/2013; DOI:10.1017/S0033291713001736 · 5.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An association has been found between multi-dose drug dispensing (MDD) and use of many drugs. The aim of this study was to investigate the nature of this association, by performing a longitudinal analysis of the drug treatment before and after the transition to MDD. Inclusion critera in this register-based study were inhabitants in Region Västra Götaland, Sweden, who, at ≥65 years of age and between 1(st) July 2006 and 30(th) June 2010, filled their first MDD prescription. For each individual, prescribed drugs were estimated at three month intervals before and after (maximum 3 years, respectively) the first date of filling an MDD prescription (index date). A total of 30,922 individuals matched the inclusion criteria (mean age: 83.2 years; 59.9% female). There was a temporal association between the transition to MDD and an increased number of drugs: 5.4±3.9 and 7.5±3.8 unique drugs three months before and after the index date, respectively, as well as worse outcomes on several indicators of prescribing quality. When either data before or after the index date were used, a multi-level regression analysis predicted the number of drugs at the index date at 5.76 (95% confidence limits: 5.71; 5.80) and 7.15 (7.10; 7.19), respectively, for an average female individual (83.2 years, 10.8 unique diagnoses, 2.4 healthcare contacts/three months). The predicted change in the number of drugs, from three months before the index date to the index date, was greater when data before this date was used as compared with data after this date: 0.12 (0.09; 0.14) versus 0.02 (-0.01; 0.05). After the patients entered the MDD system, they had an increased number of drugs, more often potentially harmful drug treatment, and fewer changes in drug treatment. These findings support a causal relationship between such a system and safety concerns as regards prescribing practices.
    PLoS ONE 06/2013; 8(6):e67088. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0067088 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 12/2012; 40(9 Suppl):293-304. DOI:10.1177/1403494812459623 · 3.13 Impact Factor
  • Kristina Johnell, Johan Fastbom
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    ABSTRACT: Most previous studies about drug use in the elderly population have either investigated drug use in institutions or in the community-dwelling setting. Hence, very few studies have compared drug use in institutionalized and community-dwelling elderly, maybe because of a lack of sufficiently large databases. The aim of the study was to investigate differences in drug use patterns between community-dwelling and institutionalized elderly, after adjustment for age, gender and number of other drugs (used as a proxy for overall co-morbidity). We analysed data from individuals aged ≥65 years who filled at least one drug prescription between July and September 2008 and were consequently registered in the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register (n = 1,347,564; 1,260,843 community-dwelling and 86,721 institutionalized elderly). A list of current prescriptions was constructed for every individual on the arbitrarily chosen date 30 September 2008. Outcome measures were the 20 most common drug classes and the 20 most common individual drugs. Logistic regression analysis was used to investigate whether institutionalization was associated with use of these drugs, after adjustment for age, gender and number of other drugs. Institutionalized elderly were more likely than community-dwelling elderly to use antidepressants, laxatives, minor analgesics, opioids and hypnotics/sedatives, after adjustment for age, gender and number of other drugs. On the contrary, institutionalization was negatively associated with use of lipid modifying agents, angiotensin II antagonists, selective calcium channel blockers, β-blocking agents and ACE inhibitors, after adjustment for age, gender and number of other drugs. Our results indicate that institutionalized elderly are more likely than community-dwelling elderly to use psychotropics, analgesics and laxatives, but less likely to receive recommended cardiovascular drug therapy, which may indicate a need for implementation of evidence-based guidelines for drug treatment in this vulnerable group of elderly patients. Further research is needed to elucidate to what extent the differences in drug use between community-dwelling and institutionalized elderly are explained by different underlying disease patterns and by different prescribing traditions in the different settings.
    Drugs & Aging 09/2012; 29(9):751-8. DOI:10.1007/s40266-012-0002-7 · 2.50 Impact Factor
  • Ylva Haasum, Johan Fastbom, Kristina Johnell
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: We compared the quality and pattern of use of antibiotics to treat urinary tract infection (UTI) between institutionalized and home-dwelling elderly. METHODS: We analyzed the quality of use of UTI antibiotics in Swedish people aged ≥65 years at 30 September 2008 (1,260,843 home-dwelling and 86,721 institutionalized elderly). Data regarding drug use, age and sex were retrieved from the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register and information about type of housing from the Social Services Register. In women, we assessed: (1) the proportion who use quinolones (should be as low as possible); (2) the proportion treated with the recommended drugs (pivmecillinam, nitrofurantoin, or trimethoprim) (proportions should be about 40 %, 40 % and 15-20 %, respectively); In men, we assessed: (1) the proportion who used quinolones or trimethoprim (should be as high as possible). RESULTS: The 1-day point prevalence for antibiotic use for UTI was 1.6 % among institutionalized and 0.9 % among home-dwelling elderly. Of these, about 15 % of institutionalized and 19 % of home-dwelling women used quinolones. The proportion of women treated with the recommended drugs pivmecillinam, nitrofurantoin or trimethoprim was 29 %, 27 % and 45 % in institutions and 40 %, 28 % and 34 % for home-dwellers. In men treated with antibiotics for UTI, quinolones or trimethoprim were used by about 76 % in institutions and 85 % in home-dwellers. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that recommendations for UTI treatment with antibiotics are not adequately followed. The high use of trimethoprim amongst institutionalized women and the low use of quinolones or trimethoprim among institutionalized men need further investigation.
    European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 08/2012; 69(3). DOI:10.1007/s00228-012-1374-7 · 2.70 Impact Factor
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    Ylva Haasum, Johan Fastbom, Kristina Johnell
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    ABSTRACT: Few studies have investigated institutionalization as a potential risk factor for potentially inappropriate drug use (PIDU). Sweden now has unique possibilities for comparisons of drug use in large populations of institutionalized and home-dwelling elderly through linkage of the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register (SPDR) with the Swedish Social Services Register. To compare PIDU in institutionalized versus home-dwelling elderly persons in Sweden. We conducted a cross-sectional retrospective study of 1,260,843 home-dwelling and 86,721 institutionalized elderly individuals. We analyzed data on age, sex, and dispensed drugs for individuals aged 65 years or older registered in the SPDR from July to September 2008. Data on type of housing were retrieved from the Social Services Register. The main outcome measures of PIDU were use of anticholinergic drugs, long-acting benzodiazepines, concurrent use of 3 or more psychotropics, and potentially serious drug-drug interactions (DDIs). Thirty percent of the institutionalized and 12% of the home-dwelling elderly were exposed to PIDU. Living in an institution was strongly associated with overall PIDU (OR 2.36; 95% CI 2.29 to 2.44), use of anticholinergic drugs (OR 2.58; 95% CI 2.48 to 2.68), long-acting benzodiazepines (OR 1.50; 95% CI 1.41 to 1.60), and concurrent use of 3 or more psychotropics (OR 7.26; 95% CI 6.96 to 7.59), after controlling for age, sex, and number of drugs (used as proxy for comorbidity). However, institutionalization was associated with a lower probability of potentially serious DDIs (OR 0.60; 95% CI 0.55 to 0.65). Our results indicate that institutionalization is a potential risk factor for PIDU. This implies that more cautious prescribing is warranted in institutions, where the frailest and most vulnerable elderly individuals reside. Research is needed to identify underlying risk factors for PIDU within these settings.
    Annals of Pharmacotherapy 02/2012; 46(3):339-46. DOI:10.1345/aph.1Q597 · 2.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: the number of centenarians increases rapidly. Yet, little is known about their health and use of medications. to investigate pharmacological drug use in community-dwelling and institutionalised centenarians compared with nonagenarians and octogenarians. we analysed data on dispensed drugs for centenarians (n = 1,672), nonagenarians (n = 76,584) and octogenarians (n = 383,878) from the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register, record-linked to the Swedish Social Services Register. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to analyse whether age was associated with use of drugs, after adjustment for sex, living situation and co-morbidity. in the adjusted analysis, centenarians were more likely to use analgesics, hypnotics/sedatives and anxiolytics, but less likely to use antidepressants than nonagenarians and octogenarians. Moreover, centenarians were more likely to use high-ceiling diuretics, but less likely to use beta-blockers and ACE-inhibitors. centenarians high use of analgesics, hypnotics/sedatives and anxiolytics either reflects a palliative approach to drug treatment in centenarians or that pain and mental health problems increase into extreme old age. Also, centenarians do not seem to be prescribed cardiovascular drug therapy according to guidelines to the same extent as nonagenarians and octogenarians. Whether this reflects an age or cohort effect should be evaluated in longitudinal studies.
    Age and Ageing 11/2011; 41(2):218-24. DOI:10.1093/ageing/afr144 · 3.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the elderly in Scandinavia, multi-dose drug dispensing (MDD) is a common alternative to ordinary prescriptions (OP). MDD patients receive their drugs in unit bags, one for each dose occasion. The prescribing procedure differs between MDD and OP. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between MDD and quality of drug treatment (QDT). A cross-sectional study was performed of all inhabitants in Region Västra Götaland alive on December 31st 2007, aged ≥65 years, with ≥1 prescribed drug and ≥2 health care visits for ≥2 diagnoses for obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes mellitus, and/or cardiovascular disease in 2005-2007 (n = 24,146). For each patient, drug treatment on December 31st 2007 was estimated from drugs registered in the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register. QDT was evaluated according to established quality indicators (≥10 drugs, Long-acting benzodiazepines, Drugs with anticholinergic action, ≥3 psychotropics, and Drugs combinations that should be avoided). Logistic regression, with adjustments for age, sex, burden of disease, and residence, was performed to investigate the association between MDD and QDT. Mean age was 77 years, 51% were females, and 20% used MDD. For all quality indicators, the proportion of patients with poor QDT was greater in patients with MDD than in patients with OP (all P<0.0001). Unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for poor QDT (MDD patients vs. OP patients) ranged from 1.47 (1.30-1.65) to 7.08 (6.30-7.96) and from 1.36 (1.18-1.57) to 5.48 (4.76-6.30), respectively. Patients with MDD have poorer QDT than patients with OP. This cannot be explained by differences in age, sex, burden of disease, or residence. These findings must be taken into account when designing alternative prescribing systems. Further research is needed to evaluate causative factors and if the findings also apply to other dose dispensing systems.
    PLoS ONE 10/2011; 6(10):e26574. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0026574 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The number of elderly persons in society is increasing, placing additional demands on the public health system. Extensive use of drugs is common in the elderly, and in patients with dementia this further increases their vulnerability. Since 1998 the municipality of Kalmar, Sweden, has worked with a dementia management programme that focuses on early intervention in order to identify the patient's help needs at an early stage. An important part of the programme aims at optimizing pharmacological treatment. The objective of the present study is to evaluate whether the dementia programme had a secondary effect on the use of psychotropic medication in the elderly population in general. A retrospective, drug utilization study analysing the use of selected drug categories by the elderly (75 years and older) in the Kalmar municipality compared with the whole of Sweden. The results suggest that the dementia programme contributed to an improvement in psychotropic drug use in the elderly as a secondary effect. Furthermore, the implementation of this programme did not require allocation of extra funding.
    Scandinavian journal of primary health care 07/2011; 29(3):181-6. DOI:10.3109/02813432.2011.585277 · 2.21 Impact Factor
  • Kristina Johnell, Johan Fastbom
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate whether gender is associated with use of hypnotics or sedatives and with different types of hypnotics or sedatives in older people after adjustment for age, socioeconomic status (i.e., education) and co-morbidity (i.e., number of other drugs). Sweden Method We conducted a register-based analysis of data on gender, age, dispensed drugs, and education from people aged 75-89 years registered in the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register between July and October 2005 (n = 645,429). The hypnotic or sedative drug classes were benzodiazepines, benzodiazepine related drugs (i.e., Z-drugs) and other types of hypnotics or sedatives. The individual hypnotics or sedatives were nitrazepam, flunitrazepam, triazolam, zopiclone, zolpidem, clomethiazole and propiomazine. In the total study population, 27.1% of the women and 18.1% of the men were dispensed at least one hypnotic or sedative drug. The logistic regression analyses of those who used hypnotics or sedatives (n = 151,700) revealed that women were more likely than men to use benzodiazepines (adjusted OR = 1.11; 95% CI 1.07-1.14) and benzodiazepine related drugs (adjusted OR = 1.14; 95% CI 1.12-1.17), whereas men were more likely to use other types of hypnotics or sedatives (adjusted OR = 0.69; 95% CI 0.67-0.71). Among the individual hypnotics or sedatives, the strongest associations with gender was found for nitrazepam (adjusted OR = 1.19; 95% CI 1.14-1.25 for women compared with men), zolpidem (adjusted OR = 1.18; 95% CI 1.16-1.21), clomethiazole (adjusted OR = 0.48; 95% CI 0.46-0.51) and propiomazine (adjusted OR = 0.77; 95% CI 0.75-0.79). Use of hypnotics or sedatives in old age seems to be related to female gender. Also, among elderly users of hypnotics or sedatives, women appear to be more likely to use benzodiazepines and benzodiazepine related drugs than men. The explanation to these gender differences merits further investigation.
    07/2011; 33(5):788-93. DOI:10.1007/s11096-011-9536-8
  • Kristina Johnell, Johan Fastbom
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate whether institutionalization is associated with the use of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) and to compare the association between use of AEDs and psychotropics in community-dwelling and institutionalized elderly, after adjustment for age, sex and co-morbidity (i.e. number of other drugs). We analyzed data on age, sex and dispensed drugs for individuals aged ≥65 years registered in the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register from July to September 2008, record-linked to the Swedish Social Services Register (n = 1,345,273: 1,258,565 community-dwelling and 86 708 institutionalized elderly). Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to analyze whether institutionalization and use of psychotropics (i.e. antipsychotics, anxiolytics, hypnotics/sedatives and antidepressants) were associated with the use of AEDs. AEDs were used by 2% of the community-dwelling and 9% of the institutionalized elderly. The most commonly used AEDs were carbamazepine, gabapentin, pregabalin, valproic acid and lamotrigine. Institutionalization was strongly associated with AED use (OR(adjusted) = 3.98; 95% CI 3.86-4.10). In community-dwelling elderly, AED use was associated with an increased probability of use of all types of psychotropics. However, among institutionalized elderly, the associations between use of AEDs and psychotropics showed a mixed pattern. AED use seems to be common among Swedish institutionalized elderly, and institutionalization is a strong determinant of AED use. Our results may also indicate an off-label prescribing of AEDs as an alternative to psychotropics in the institutional setting. This finding needs to be confirmed by others and evaluated with respect to outcomes of this treatment in institutionalized elderly.
    European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 04/2011; 67(10):1069-75. DOI:10.1007/s00228-011-1051-2 · 2.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this population-based study of more than 2,600 elderly, people with dementia received less preventive treatment for osteoporosis compared to people without dementia, although osteoporotic fractures were more common in patients with dementia. Thus, our results indicate an undertreatment of osteoporosis in dementia. This study compares the use of osteoporosis drugs in elderly with and without dementia, taking into account osteoporotic fractures and type of housing. We analyzed data from the baseline examination (2001-2004) of The Swedish National Study on Aging and Care- Kungsholmen (SNAC-K), Stockholm, Sweden. Participants were aged ≥ 66 years (n = 2610). We analysed the use of bisphosphonates, raloxifene, and calcium/vitamin D combinations in relation to clinically based dementia diagnosis. Information about osteoporotic fractures during the previous 4 years was obtained from the Swedish National Patient Register. We used logistic regression to analyze the association between dementia status and use of osteoporosis drugs. Osteoporosis drugs (mainly calcium/vitamin D combinations) were used by 5% of the persons with dementia and 12% of the persons without dementia. Furthermore, 25% of the persons with dementia and 7% of the persons without dementia had had at least one osteoporotic fracture during the past 4 years. After controlling for age, sex, osteoporotic fractures, and type of housing (own home or institution), persons with dementia were less likely to use osteoporosis drugs than persons without dementia (OR = 0.34; 95% CI, 0.19-0.59). Our results indicate an undertreatment of osteoporosis in persons with dementia, although osteoporotic fractures are common among these patients.
    Osteoporosis International 04/2011; 23(3):1061-8. DOI:10.1007/s00198-011-1636-8 · 4.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several previous studies have reported an undertreatment of pain in elderly persons with dementia. It has also been suggested that persons with dementia may be at risk for inappropriate treatment of pain with psychotropics. The objective of this study was to investigate if persons with dementia are as likely as persons without dementia to receive pharmacological pain treatment, after taking into account residential setting and pain-related disorders. We also aimed to investigate whether use of psychotropics is related to pain in persons with and without dementia. We used baseline data from the SNAC-K (Swedish National Study of Aging and Care - Kungsholmen). We analysed use of analgesics and psychotropics, prevalence of pain-related diagnoses, self-reported pain, dementia status and residential setting in 2610 participants aged > 65 years. Of the persons with dementia, 46% used at least one analgesic drug compared with 25% of those without dementia. Although persons with dementia reported pain less frequently than persons without dementia, the prevalence of pain-related diagnoses was similar. After adjustment for individual factors and residential setting (own home/institution), persons with dementia had a higher probability of use of paracetamol (acetaminophen) and psychotropics, whereas there were no significant differences in use of any analgesic, opioids and NSAIDs. Furthermore, having a pain-related diagnosis was associated with use of psychotropics in persons with dementia. Persons with dementia had a higher probability of use of paracetamol and were about as likely as persons without dementia to use any analgesic, opioids and NSAIDs, after adjustment for confounders. This may reflect a recent increased awareness of pain and pain management in persons with dementia, compared with previous studies that have reported an underuse of analgesics in persons with dementia. However, further research is needed to analyse if persons with dementia are appropriately treated for pain with regard to type of analgesic drug, pain intensity, indication, dosage and regimen.
    Drugs & Aging 04/2011; 28(4):283-93. DOI:10.2165/11587040-000000000-00000 · 2.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper aims to examine whether a computerised system for medication reviews can support physicians' decisions and improve the quality of drug treatment in the elderly. This is a descriptive intervention study. The study included 275 patients living in community settings and nursing homes in Stockholm, Sweden. Patient data were analysed using computer software and scrutinised by a clinical pharmacologist. Pharmaco-therapeutic advice was sent to the physician responsible for each patient. The main outcome measures were initiation and discontinuation of drugs, changes of doses and rates of identified drug-related problems. Expert opinions were given by the clinical pharmacologist, for 275 patients, mean age 85 years; 70 per cent female. An average of 3.3 remarks was given concerning unsuitable drugs, unclear indication, dosing when the kidney function was decreased, drug-drug interactions and quality indicators. On average 1.5 drug-related problems (DRP) per patient were attended to by the responsible physician at each unit. The most common action taken was withdrawal of a drug (n = 208). On average the drug use decreased from 10.4 to 9.5 drugs per patient, and several quality indicators were met. The drug costs decreased, and resulted in a more cost-effective drug therapy. The paper develops and tests a method for intervention in the care of elderly patients. The method is based on a computerised expert support system for medication reviews at a distance and on education of the staff. A safer drug therapy with improved quality and cost-effectiveness is thus provided.
    International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance 01/2010; 23(6):571-82. DOI:10.1108/09526861011060933
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    ABSTRACT: Drug prescribing to the elderly is extensive and often inappropriate. Furthermore, the number of drugs used is the most important risk factor for adverse drug reactions. Despite this, drug prescribing in the elderly in Sweden is high and increasing. In 2003 the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare launched a set of indicators to evaluate the quality of drug therapy in the elderly. Use of this tool in combination with the Swedish computerized national register covering all persons receiving multi-dose drug dispensing (drugs dispensed in one dose unit bag for each dose occasion) would enable detection of inappropriate drug prescribing and could help reduce the risk of drug-related problems among the elderly. To assess the extent and quality of drug prescribing in younger and older elderly residents receiving multi-dose drug dispensing in ordinary nursing homes (NHs) and special care units for dementia (NHDs), and to evaluate the relationship between the quality of prescribing and the number of prescribers per resident, in a Swedish county. The computerized national pharmacy drug register provided the database and a cross-sectional design was used. Selected drug-specific quality indicators proposed by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare in 2003 were used to assess the quality of drug prescribing. This study included 3705 residents. Their mean age was 85 years and 72% were women. The mean number of prescribed drugs was 10.3 per resident. The proportion of residents with prescriptions for psychotropic drugs was 80% in NHs and 85% in NHDs. The prevalence of each drug-specific quality indicator was as follows: long-acting benzodiazepines 16.4% (NHs) versus 11.7% (NHDs), anticholinergic drugs 20.7% versus 18.5%, drug duplication 14.6% versus 13.6%, three or more psychotropic drugs 25.6% versus 35.3%, class C interactions (drug combinations that may require dose adjustment) 41.9% versus 38.7% and class D interactions (drug combinations that should be avoided) 8.1% versus 5.6%. Younger elderly residents (age 65-79 years) had a lower quality of drug prescribing. An increasing number of prescribers per resident was associated with a lower quality of drug therapy. We found a lower quality of drug prescribing, e.g. anticholinergic drugs prescribed to approximately 20% of residents of NHs and NHDs, and a higher rate of psychotropic drug use (>/=80%) compared with previous studies in NHs. Our results also demonstrated a negative correlation between quality of prescribing and number of prescribers per resident.
    Clinical Drug Investigation 01/2010; 30(5):289-300. DOI:10.2165/11534320-000000000-00000 · 1.70 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
315.80 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1996–2015
    • Karolinska Institutet
      • • Aging Research Center - ARC
      • • Department of Clinical Neuroscience
      Solna, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2012
    • Aging Research Center
      Tukholma, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2006
    • Stockholm University
      Tukholma, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 1996–2001
    • Stiftelsen Stockholms läns Äldrecentrum
      Tukholma, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2000
    • The National Board of Health and Welfare
      Tukholma, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 1997
    • University of Florence
      • Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Psicologia, Area del Farmaco e Salute del Bambino
      Florence, Tuscany, Italy