ABSTRACTBackground:We aimed to assess whether there were any changes in the use of psychotropic drugs in Norwegian nursing homes between 2004 and 2011. Also, we investigated whether the predictors of use of specific psychotropic drug groups have changed.
We conducted a secondary analysis of two cohort studies of two Norwegian nursing home samples (2004/05 and 2010/11). Multivariate models were applied.
We found a significant decrease in the prescription of antipsychotic drugs between 2004 and 2011 (0.63 OR, 95%CI = 0.49-0.82, p
Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) are common in patients with dementia, and cause distress for patients. Studies on the prevalence, incidence, persistence and resolution of NPS in patients living in nursing homes are sparse. The aim of this study was to evaluate the course of NPS in patients with dementia living in Norwegian nursing homes.
169 patients from seven Norwegian nursing homes were assessed five times over a period of 16 months with the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI). The severity and the frequency of the NPI were analyzed.
91.7% of the patients had at least one clinically significant NPS at one or more assessments over the 16 months. Irritability (63.5%), agitation (51.0%) and disinhibition (50.0%) had the highest cumulative prevalence, while irritability (42.6%), disinhibition (37.8%) and depression (31.5%) showed the highest cumulative incidence. Delusion, agitation and irritability were enduring symptoms while the other symptoms had high resolution rates. The severity of the NPS did not vary significantly over time.
Almost every patient in Norwegian nursing homes had at least one clinically significant NPS over 16 months, but individual NPS show a fluctuating course. This should influence how we monitor and treat NPS in patients with dementia.
The use of dietary supplements (DS) is common among persons with dementia. Direct risks associated with DS use include adverse events and DS-drug interactions. A direct risk is a risk caused by the treatment itself. Indirect risks are related to the treatment setting, such as the conditions of use, and not to the treatment itself. Because dementia symptoms may reduce a person's ability to cope with the administration of DS, the use of DS may pose a threat to safety as an indirect risk. The aim of this study was to describe the extent of DS use among persons with dementia in ambulatory care and to identify some relevant direct and indirect risks related to DS use.
We conducted a survey among 151 persons with dementia attending an outpatient memory clinic in Northern Norway. Study measurements included: the participants' characteristics, cognitive functioning, functioning in the activities of daily living (ADL), and the use of DS and prescription drugs (PD). We assessed direct risks by evaluating potential DS-drug interactions and indirect risks by evaluating the conditions under which it was used.
Forty-six percent (n = 70) of the persons with dementia used DS. Ninety-seven percent (n = 147) used PD. We found potentially clinically relevant DS-drug interactions representing a direct risk in eight persons with dementia (11% of users). While only 36% (n = 26) of the participants received assistance with the administration of DS, 73% (n = 106) received assistance with the administration of PD. Persons with dementia living alone were at risk of not receiving assistance, as home care service seldom was involved in DS administration. Data indicated that assistance with DS administration was not provided for all persons with dementia in need, representing an indirect risk to these persons. Only one-third of the persons with dementia and half of the caregivers were aware of the general risks of adverse events and interactions associated with the use of DS.
Persons with dementia use DS frequently, yet DS use may be associated with direct and indirect risks to patient safety as potentially clinically relevant interactions were discovered and DS intake often was unsupervised.
In the present open study, the long-term safety, tolerability, and efficacy of citalopram in the treatment of elderly people with emotional disturbances were studied. One hundred twenty-three elderly patients with symptoms of depression-anxiety were included. Most of the patients (76%) were demented. Fifty-two patients completed a 12-month treatment. Irritability, depressed mood, anxiety, restlessness, and fear-panic were significantly reduced. The severity of illness from baseline to Month 9 was rated as significantly improved. The side effects were infrequent and mostly mild.
The mental and physical capacity of all residents in homes for aged people were estimated, and their neuroleptic drug consumption and duration of stay were registered. One third was moderately to severely mentally impaired and 38% demanded more extensive nursing care. Physical dependence was significantly associated with mental decline, and less with age. One quarter of severely mentally impaired people had stayed for less than one year; 23% of the residents received neuroleptic drugs. Treatment was more common in physically incapacitated people together with wandering and aggressive ones. Lack of psychogeriatric services may enhance the use of neuroleptic drugs in homes for aged people.
The objectives of this study were to describe the use of psychotropic drugs among home-dwelling people with mild dementia, to identify potentially inappropriate medications (PIM) and drug-drug interactions (DDI), and to analyze potential variables associated with having PIM and DDI.
Patients (n?=?251) with a first-time diagnosis of mild dementia (defined as a mini-mental state examination score >20) were included from outpatient clinics. Prevalence of psychotropic drug use, polypharmacy, and psychotropic polypharmacy were investigated. The prevalence of PIM and DDI were defined using the Norwegian general practice criteria and an interactions database, respectively. Variables associated with having PIM and DDI were assessed using a multivariable logistic regression analysis adjusting for relevant demographic and clinical variables.
Almost 96% of the patients used one or more medications. Polypharmacy was found in 45% of the patients, and nearly 70% of the patients were using one or more psychotropic drugs. Psychotropic polypharmacy was found in seven patients. PIM were identified in 35 patients (14%), while only four severe DDI were found. Female sex and number of medications were significantly associated with having PIM, whereas only number of medications was significantly associated with having DDI.
BACKGROUND: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the validity, reliability and responsiveness of a Swedish translation of the Quality of Life in Late-Stage Dementia (QUALID) Scale. METHOD: A total of 169 elderly residents at 19 dementia special care units in eight long-term care facilities in the Gothenburg city region participated in the study. Assessments were made by 107 proxy informants. RESULTS: Results showed satisfactory levels of internal consistency reliability (Cronbach's alpha coefficients 0.74), acceptable inter-rater reliability between informants (0.69), and high test-retest reliability (0.86). As hypothesized, QUALID scores were also associated with those from other quality-of-life (QoL) indices (criterion validity), as well as with use of psychoactive drugs, and with tests of cognitive impairment (clinical validity). The responsiveness of the questionnaire was also acceptable. CONCLUSIONS: As important clinical decisions may derive from perceived QoL effects, it is vital that the QoL data be reliable, valid and sensitive to change. Our evaluations of the psychometric properties of the Swedish QUALID indicate that it satisfactorily meets the need for an instrument to assess QoL in late-stage dementia in Sweden, in a wide range of settings and applications.
Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neurosciences, Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Geriatric Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Psychotropic drugs are widely used among old people with dementia but few studies have described long-term treatment in this group of patients. The purpose of this study was to explore the long-term use of psychotropic drugs in old people with dementia.
Data on psychotropic drug use, functioning in the activities of daily living (ADL), cognitive function and behavioral and psychological symptoms were collected at baseline and six months later, using the Multi-Dimensional Dementia Assessment Scale (MDDAS). The data were collected in 2005-2006. Detailed data about the prescribing of psychotropic drugs were collected from prescription records. This study was conducted in 40 specialized care units in northern Sweden, with a study population of 278 people with dementia.
At the start of the study, 229 of the participants (82%) were prescribed at least one psychotropic drug; 150 (54%) used antidepressants, 43 (16%) used anxiolytics, 107 (38%) used hypnotics and sedatives, and 111 (40%) used antipsychotics. Among the baseline users of antidepressants, anxiolytics, hypnotics and sedatives and antipsychotics, 67%, 44%, 57% and 57% respectively, still used the same dose of the same psychotropic drug after six months. Associations were found between behavioral and psychological symptoms and different psychotropic drugs.
Psychotropic drug use was high among people with dementia living in specialized care units and in many cases the drugs were used for extended periods. It is very important to monitor the effects and adverse effects of the prescribed drug in this frail group of people.
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BACKGROUND: Despite modest efficacy, unpredictable individual utility, and a high rate of adverse effects, behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) are common determinants for antipsychotic drug therapy in nursing home patients. AIMS: To explore the impact on BPSD of stopping long-term antipsychotic treatment in nursing home patients with dementia. METHODS: Fifty-five patients (43 women; mean age 84.1) taking haloperidol, risperidone, or olanzapine for BPSD were randomly assigned to cessation (intervention group, n=27) or continued treatment with antipsychotic drugs (reference group, n=28) for 4 consecutive weeks. The Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) Questionnaire was used to examine changes in behavioural and psychological symptoms. RESULTS: By study completion, 23 of the 27 intervention group patients were still off antipsychotics. Symptom scores (NPI) remained stable or even improved in 42 patients (intervention group, 18 out of 27; reference group, 24 out of 28; p=0.18). As compared to patients with stable or improved symptom scores, patients with behavioural deterioration after antipsychotic cessation used higher daily drug doses at baseline (p=0.42). CONCLUSION: A large share of elderly nursing home patients on long-term treatment with antipsychotics for BPSD, do well without this treatment. Standardized symptom evaluations and drug cessation attempts should therefore be undertaken at regular intervals.
In two inter-Nordic multicenter controlled studies the effect of Citalopram on elderly patients with depression and emotional disturbances has been studied. One investigation included 98 patients in whom Alzheimer type dementia (AD/SDAT) and vascular dementia (VD) had been diagnosed, many of whom also had emotional disturbances. After four weeks treatment with Citalopram (10-30 mg/daily) there was significant improvement in confusion, irritability, anxiety, depressed mood and restlessness. No effect was seen on the intellectual capacity or motor performance measured. In the other study, which was a six weeks trial comparing Citalopram and placebo, elderly patients with a treatment-requiring depression were treated. Demented as well as non-demented patients were included. The Hamilton Depression Scale, the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale and The Clinical Global Impressions all recorded an effect of Citalopram superior to that of placebo. In both studies depressive symptoms as well as symptoms of agitation, anxiety, restlessness and irritability improved. Citalopram is therefore considered not only an antidepressive drug but also an emotional stabilizer. The drug was well tolerated by elderly often somatically ill patients. Side effects were few.