Psychotropic medication use and association with physical and psychosocial outcomes in nursing home residents

Authors


  • The authors report no conflict of interest associated with this manuscript.

  • This study was supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research Quality under Grant R01 HS/MH 1337201 as well as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars Program under Grant 66520.

E. Galik, University of Maryland School of Nursing, 655 West Lombard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA, E-mail: galik@son.umaryland.edu

Abstract

Accessible summary

  • • Psychotropic medications, such as antipsychotics, antidepressants, anxiolytics, and sedative/hypnotics, are commonly prescribed for nursing home residents, but have been associated with negative health outcomes.
  • • In this study, 69% of the nursing home residents were prescribed at least one psychotropic medication. Physical outcomes (specifically physical function and balance) were significantly lower in those residents taking psychotropic medications than those not taking psychotropic medications. Psychosocial outcomes (specifically self-efficacy and outcome expectations for function, and quality of life) were significantly lower in those residents taking psychotropic medications.
  • • The findings from this study provide additional support for the prevalence of psychotropic medication use among nursing home residents and may suggest that residents taking psychotropic medications are less likely to engage in functional activities, and experience decreased quality of life.

Abstract

Psychotropic medications are commonly prescribed for older adults living in long-term care settings. Use of these medications has been associated with negative functional outcomes. The purpose of this study was to describe the prevalence of psychotropic medication use among nursing home residents, and to explore the relationship of psychotropic medication use on physical and psychosocial outcomes. A secondary data analysis was done using baseline measures from the Res-Care Intervention Study. The sample included 419 residents from 12 nursing homes. There were 288 participants (69%) who were prescribed at least one psychotropic medication, with 81 participants (19%) receiving antipsychotics, 248 (59%) receiving antidepressants, 50 (12%) receiving anxiolytics and 37 (9%) receiving sedative/hypnotics. Controlling for gender, age and cognition, physical outcomes were significantly lower in residents receiving psychotropic medications (F= 3.2, P= 0.01) compared to those not receiving psychotropic medications. Psychosocial outcomes were significantly lower in those residents receiving psychotropic mediations (F= 2.0, P= 0.04). The findings from this study provide additional support for the prevalence of psychotropic medication use among nursing home residents and suggest that residents receiving psychotropic medications may be less likely to engage in functional activities and experience decreased quality of life.

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