Conference Paper

Reducing inappropriate antipsychotic use in residential aged care faciltiies

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Abstract

Objectives: Managing Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD) is a great challenge, particularly in the residential care setting. Antipsychotic medications are commonly used to treat many of these symptoms however evidence suggests only modest efficacy and an increased risk of stroke, cognitive decline and death. HALT objectives are to 1) educate Residential Aged Care Facility (RACF) staff, GPs and pharmacists in the appropriate use of antipsychotics for BPSD and person-centred approaches to behaviour management. This will provide a foundation to 2) reduce antipsychotic use in residents without use of substitute medications. Methods: Facilities: 20 RACFs have been recruited across greater Sydney and each has nominated at least one ‘HALT Champion’ nurse to facilitate the project. Participants: 200 eligible residents will be recruited. Baseline data will be collected on quality of life, cognition, neuropsychiatric symptoms and adverse events including falls. Deprescribing plans will be established with GPs and follow up data collected 3, 6 and 12 months following cessation of antipsychotics . Education: A train the trainer approach is used to educate Champions in non-pharmacological behaviour management, skills they then pass on to other facility staff to support the deprescribing intervention. GPs of participants will receive education on appropriate use of antipsychotics in the elderly. This has been RACGP accredited as a clinical audit. Results: Recent Australian data suggest around 30% of RACF residents are using antipsychotics regularly and the majority are prescribed inappropriately1. Preliminary HALT data indicates a lower rate (18%) for facilities where data has been collected thus far. Currently, participant recruitment is at 66 with baseline data completed for 62 and 30 have commenced deprescribing. We will present preliminary data on the impact of deprescribing on participants as well as outcomes of education on practice change. Conclusion: HALT takes a multidisciplinary approach, with collaboration between consumers, RACFs, GPs, pharmacists and clinical specialists to achieve reductions in inappropriate antipsychotic use and associated adverse events. Outcomes will be used to inform practice development and culture change models around antipsychotic use and review in RACFs. References: 1. Ballard C, Lana MM, Theodoulou M, Douglas S, McShane R, et al. (2008) A Randomised, Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Trial in Dementia Patients Continuing or Stopping Neuroleptics (The DART-AD Trial). PLoS Med 5(4): e76.

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Objectives : To evaluate whether withdrawal of antipsychotic agents is successful in older people with dementia in community or nursing home settings, to list the different strategies for withdrawal of antipsychotic agents in older people with dementia and NPS, and to measure the effects of withdrawal of antipsychotic agents on behaviour. Search methods : ALOIS, the Specialized Register of the Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group (CDCIG), The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, LILACS, clinical trials registries and grey literature sources were searched on 23 November 2012. The search included the following terms: antipsychotic* or neuroleptic* or phenothiazines or butyrophenones or risperidone or olanzapine or haloperidol or prothipendyl or methotrimeprazine or clopenthixol or flupenthixol or clothiapine or metylperon or droperidol or pipamperone or benperidol or bromperidol or fluspirilene or pimozide or penfluridol or sulpiride or veralipride or levosulpiride or sultopride or aripiprazole or clozapine or quetiapine or thioridazine combined wither terms such as discontinu* or withdraw* or cessat* or reduce* or reducing or reduct* or taper* or stop*. ALOIS contains records from all major healthcare databases (The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, LILACS), as well as from many clinical trials registries and grey literature sources. Selection criteria : Randomised, placebo-controlled trials comparing an antipsychotic withdrawal strategy to continuation of antipsychotics in people with dementia. Data collection and analysis : Review authors independently assessed trials for inclusion, rated their risk of bias and extracted data. Main results : We included nine trials with 606 randomised participants. Seven trials were conducted in nursing homes, one trial in an outpatient setting and one in both settings. In these trials, different types of antipsychotics prescribed at different doses were withdrawn. Both abrupt and gradual withdrawal schedules were used. The risk of bias of the included studies was generally low regarding blinding and outcome reporting and unclear for randomisation procedures and recruitment of participants. There was a wide variety of outcome measures. Our primary efficacy outcomes were success of withdrawal (i.e. remaining in study off antipsychotics) and NPS. Eight of nine trials reported no overall significant difference between groups on the primary outcomes, although in one pilot study of people with psychosis and agitation that had responded to haloperidol, time to relapse was significantly shorter in the discontinuation group (Chi(2) = 4.1, P value = 0.04). The ninth trial included people with psychosis or agitation who had responded well to risperidone therapy for four to eight months and reported that discontinuation led to an increased risk of relapse, that is, increase in the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI)-core score of 30% or greater (P value = 0.004, hazard ratio (HR) 1.94, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09 to 3.45 at four months). The only outcome that could be pooled was the full NPI-score, used in two studies. For this outcome there was no significant difference between people withdrawn from and those continuing on antipsychotics at three months (mean difference (MD) -1.49, 95% CI -5.39 to 2.40). These two studies reported subgroup analyses according to baseline NPI-score (14 or less versus > 14). In one study, those with milder symptoms at baseline were significantly less agitated at three months in the discontinuation group (NPI-agitation, Mann-Whitney U test z = 2.4, P value = 0.018). In both studies, there was evidence of significant behavioural deterioration in people with more severe baseline NPS who were withdrawn from antipsychotics (Chi(2) = 6.8; P value = 0.009 for the marked symptom score in one study). Individual studies did not report significant differences between groups on any other outcome except one trial that found a significant difference in a measure of verbal fluency, favouring discontinuation. Most trials lacked power to detect clinically important differences between groups. Adverse events were not systematically assessed. In one trial there was a non-significant increase in mortality in people who continued antipsychotic treatment (5% to 8% greater than placebo, depending on the population analysed, measured at 12 months). This trend became significant three years after randomisation, but due to dropout and uncertainty about the use of antipsychotics in this follow-up period this result should be interpreted with caution. Authors' conclusions : Our findings suggest that many older people with Alzheimer's dementia and NPS can be withdrawn from chronic antipsychotic medication without detrimental effects on their behaviour. It remains uncertain whether withdrawal is beneficial for cognition or psychomotor status, but the results of this review suggest that discontinuation programmes could be incorporated into routine practice. However, two studies of people whose agitation or psychosis had previously responded well to antipsychotic treatment found an increased risk of relapse or shorter time to relapse after discontinuation. Two other studies suggest that people with more severe NPS at baseline could benefit from continuing their antipsychotic medication. In these people, withdrawal might not be recommended.
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Data from 12-week placebo-controlled trials have led to mounting concerns about increased mortality in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) who are prescribed antipsychotics; however, there are no mortality data from long-term placebo-controlled trials. We aimed to assess whether continued treatment with antipsychotics in people with AD is associated with an increased risk of mortality. Between October, 2001, and December, 2004, patients with AD who resided in care facilities in the UK were enrolled into a randomised, placebo-controlled, parallel, two-group treatment discontinuation trial. Participants were randomly assigned to continue with their antipsychotic treatment (thioridazine, chlorpromazine, haloperidol, trifluoperazine, or risperidone) for 12 months or to switch their medication to an oral placebo. The primary outcome was mortality at 12 months. An additional follow-up telephone assessment was done to establish whether each participant was still alive 24 months after the enrollment of the last participant (range 24-54 months). Causes of death were obtained from death certificates. Analysis was by intention to treat (ITT) and modified intention to treat (mITT). This trial is registered with the Cochrane Central Registry of Controlled Trials/National Research Register, number ISRCTN33368770. 165 patients were randomised (83 to continue antipsychotic treatment and 82 to placebo), of whom 128 (78%) started treatment (64 continued with their treatment and 64 received placebo). There was a reduction in survival in the patients who continued to receive antipsychotics compared with those who received placebo. Cumulative probability of survival during the 12 months was 70% (95% CI 58-80%) in the continue treatment group versus 77% (64-85%) in the placebo group for the mITT population. Kaplan-Meier estimates of mortality for the whole study period showed a significantly increased risk of mortality for patients who were allocated to continue antipsychotic treatment compared with those allocated to placebo (mITT log rank p=0.03; ITT p=0.02). The hazard ratio for the mITT group was 0.58 (95% CI 0.35 to 0.95) and 0.58 (0.36 to 0.92) for the ITT population. The more pronounced differences between groups during periods of follow up longer than 12 months were evident at specific timepoints (24-month survival 46%vs 71%; 36-month survival 30%vs 59%). There is an increased long-term risk of mortality in patients with AD who are prescribed antipsychotic medication; these results further highlight the need to seek less harmful alternatives for the long-term treatment of neuropsychiatric symptoms in these patients. UK Alzheimer's Research Trust.
Article
The factor structure of the MOSES proposed by Helmes et al. (1987) was tested using both exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis procedures. Results indicated that although the number of factors suggested was appropriate, the manifest variables proposed for each latent factor were not stable. A modified 5-factor model using 24 of the original 40 variables was proposed and tested. Confirmation of the modified model suggests factorial invariance across two independent samples. Internal consistency for the five scales measured by coefficient alphas ranged from 0.62 to 0.92. Difficulties in scoring MOSES items are discussed, and solutions offered for alleviating the problems. The 5-factor MOSES model is suggested as a useful research and clinical tool.
Article
Agitation is a significant problem for the elderly, their families, and their caretakers. Although much of the literature on agitation is pharmacologic in nature, several papers demonstrate demographic and environmental approaches to the problem. The literature review accentuates the gaps in both assessment and knowledge of the phenomenon. A conceptual framework and a rigorous methodology need to be developed for studying agitation. On these bases, research could explore the manifestations of agitation and the frequency of occurrence, predisposing factors for agitation, precipitating factors which trigger agitation, consequences of agitation for the elderly and for their caretakers, and the efficacy of alternative interventions. This paper proposes a definition of agitation and develops an initial conceptual framework in which to examine it.
Article
We report the findings from the first large, double-blind, placebo-controlled study conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of risperidone in the treatment of psychotic and behavioral symptoms in institutionalized elderly patients with dementia. 625 patients (67.8% women; mean age = 82.7 years) with DSM-IV diagnoses of Alzheimer's disease (73%), vascular dementia (15%), or mixed dementia (12%) and significant psychotic and behavioral symptoms were included. Each patient was randomly assigned to receive placebo or 0.5 mg/day, 1 mg/day, or 2 mg/day of risperidone for 12 weeks. The primary outcome measure was the Behavioral Pathology in Alzheimer's Disease rating scale (BEHAVE-AD). The study was completed by 70% of the patients. Baseline Functional Assessment Staging scores were 6 or 7 in more than 95% of the patients, indicating severe dementia. At endpoint, significantly greater reductions in BEHAVE-AD total scores and psychosis and aggressiveness subscale scores were seen in patients receiving 1 and 2 mg/day of risperidone than in placebo patients (p = .005 and p < .001, respectively). At week 12, 0.5 mg/day of risperidone was superior to placebo in reducing BEHAVE-AD aggression scores (p = .02). More adverse events were reported by patients receiving 2 mg/day of risperidone than 1 mg/day. The most common dose-related adverse events were extrapyramidal symptoms, somnolence, and mild peripheral edema. The frequency of extrapyramidal symptoms in patients receiving 1 mg/day of risperidone was not significantly greater than in placebo patients. Risperidone significantly improved symptoms of psychosis and aggressive behavior in patients with severe dementia. Results show that 1 mg/day of risperidone is an appropriate dose for most elderly patients with dementia.
Article
The authors assessed the validity of the nursing home version of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Nursing Home Version (NPI-NH), comparing the responses of certified nurses' aides (CNAs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) with research observations. Correlations were significant but moderate for all of the domains of the NPI-NH (delusions, hallucinations, agitation/aggression, depression, apathy, disinhibition, euphoria, irritability/lability, and aberrant motor disturbances) except anxiety and appetite disturbance. The LVNs' ratings showed consistently higher correlations with the researchers' behavioral observations than did the CNAs', but were moderate and generally better for residents with high levels of neuropsychiatric symptoms, thus, caution should be used with any untrained rater in the nursing home setting. The NPI-NH used by non-research staff can be useful in identifying residents with significant neuropsychiatric disturbances, but may be limited as an instrument for tracking behavioral changes.
Article
The objectives of this randomized clinical trial were to investigate the impact of the discontinuation of long-term antipsychotics in residents with dementia in chronic care institutions and to identify clinical predictors of safe discontinuation. Subjects included 34 residents with dementia who were on antipsychotics for more than 6 months and whose behavior was currently stable. Subjects were randomized to either continue receiving their regular dosage of antipsychotics or to receive placebo for 6 months. Early withdrawal from the study was not statistically different between the groups (relative risk [RR] = 1.57, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.76-3.26), and though not significantly different, subjects in the placebo group were more likely to be withdrawn from the study because of worsening behavior (RR = 1.25, 95% Cl 0.33-4.76). Three subjects in the placebo group were withdrawn from the study due to worsening of extrapyramidal symptoms. The active treatment group had more behavioral problems (e.g., physical aggression towards others, p < .05) compared to the placebo group. The placebo group developed more apathy, but balancing this outcome was a relative improvement in cognitive functioning. Baseline antipsychotic dose was predictive of behavioral worsening upon discontinuation of long-term antipsychotic drugs. The primary limitation of the study was the small sample size. In conclusion, a trial of discontinuation of antipsychotics should be considered in this population.
Article
Atypical antipsychotic medications are widely used to treat delusions, aggression, and agitation in people with Alzheimer disease (AD) and other dementia. Several clinical trials have not shown efficacy, and there have been concerns about adverse events. The objective of this study was to assess the evidence for efficacy and adverse events of atypicals for people with dementia. MEDLINE, the Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials, meetings, presentations, and information obtained from sponsors were used in this study. Published and unpublished randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel-group trials in patients with AD or dementia of atypical antipsychotics marketed in the United States were studied. Clinical and trials characteristics, outcomes, and adverse events were extracted. Data were checked by a second reviewer. Fifteen trials including 16 contrasts of atypical antipsychotics with placebo met selection criteria: aripiprazole (k = 3), olanzapine (k = 5), quetiapine (k = 3), and risperidone (k = 5). A total of 3,353 patients were randomized to drug and 1,757 to placebo. Standard meta-analysis methods were used to summarize outcomes. Quality of the reporting of trials varied. Efficacy on rating scales was observed by meta-analysis for aripiprazole and risperidone, but not for olanzapine. Response rates were frequently not reported. There were smaller effects for less severe dementia, outpatients, and patients selected for psychosis. Approximately one-third dropped out without overall differences between drug and placebo. Adverse events were mainly somnolence and urinary tract infection or incontinence across drugs, and extrapyramidal symptoms or abnormal gait with risperidone or olanzapine. Cognitive test scores worsened with drugs. There was no evidence for increased injury, falls, or syncope. There was a significant risk for cerebrovascular events, especially with risperidone; increased risk for death overall was reported elsewhere. Small statistical effect sizes on symptom rating scales support the evidence for the efficacy of aripiprazole and risperidone. Incomplete reporting restricts estimates of response rates and clinical significance. Dropouts and adverse events further limit effectiveness. Atypicals should be considered within the context of medical need and the efficacy and safety of alternatives. Individual patient meta-analyses are needed to better assess clinical significance and effectiveness.
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