Objectives: To explore the course of psychotropic drug (PTD) prescription from admission (BL) to 6-month follow-up (6m) in Norwegian nursing homes (NHs). To examine how clinical variables, such as neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS), cognition, physical health, and NH characteristics at BL are associated with prescription rates at 6 months.
Design: An observational longitudinal cohort study (data from the Resource Use and Disease Course in Dementia–Nursing Home study) designed to examine the course of dementia, psychiatric and somatic diseases, and drug prescriptions in NH patients during the first 6 months after admission.
Setting and participants: We included 696 patients at admission to 47 representative Norwegian NHs.
Methods: Demographic and clinical characteristics at BL and 6m are presented. Dementia severity was assessed by the Clinical Dementia Rating scale and the Functional Assessment Staging of Alzheimer’s Disease scale. Final diagnosis was made by 2 of the authors (G.S. and S.B.) according to ICD-10 criteria. Prevalence, incidence, and persistence rates of PTD prescriptions for people with dementia are presented. Generalized mixed models were used to identify possible predictors for the course of PTD prescription from BL to 6m.
Prescription rates of antidepressants, antipsychotics, anxiolytics, sedatives, and hypnotics increased in people with dementia from BL (67.5% received at least 1 PTD) to 6m (74.0% received at least 1 PTD). Younger age and higher Neuropsychiatric Inventory–affective subsyndrome score at BL were associated with higher odds of antidepressant prescription, whereas patients with higher comorbidity at BL had lower odds of receiving antidepressants, both at BL and 6m. Higher Neuropsychiatric Inventory-affective subsyndrome scores at BL were associated with higher odds of sedative and hypnotic prescription at both assessment points.
Conclusions and implications:
PTD prescription rates increase from BL to 6m. Medication appropriateness should be frequently evaluated after admission to optimize PTD prescriptions.
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