Presentations: International Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology and Therapeutic Risk Management, August 17, 2009, Providence, Rhode Island, and Gerontological Society of America Annual Meeting, November 19, 2009, Atlanta, Georgia.
Potential Underuse, Overuse, and Inappropriate Use of Antidepressants in Older Veteran Nursing Home Residents
Article first published online: 8 AUG 2011
© 2011, Copyright the Authors. Journal compilation © 2011, The American Geriatrics Society
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume 59, Issue 8, pages 1412–1420, August 2011
How to Cite
Hanlon, J. T., Wang, X., Castle, N. G., Stone, R. A., Handler, S. M., Semla, T. P., Pugh, M. J., Berlowitz, D. R. and Dysken, M. W. (2011), Potential Underuse, Overuse, and Inappropriate Use of Antidepressants in Older Veteran Nursing Home Residents. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 59: 1412–1420. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03522.x
- Issue published online: 16 AUG 2011
- Article first published online: 8 AUG 2011
- nursing homes;
OBJECTIVES: To examine prevalence and resident- and site-level factors associated with potential underuse, overuse, and inappropriate use of antidepressants in older Veterans Affairs (VA) Community Living Center (CLC) residents.
DESIGN: Longitudinal study.
SETTING: One hundred thirty-three VA CLCs.
PARTICIPANTS: Three thousand six hundred ninety-two veterans aged 65 and older admitted between January 1, 2004, and June 3, 2005, with long stays (≥90 days).
MEASUREMENTS: Prevalence of potential underuse, inappropriate use, and overuse of antidepressants in residents with and without depression (as documented according to International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification, codes or Depression Rating Scale).
RESULTS: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors were the most commonly prescribed antidepressant. Of the 877 residents with depression, 25.4% did not receive an antidepressant, suggesting potential underuse. Of residents with depression who received antidepressants, 57.5% had potential inappropriate use due primarily to problems seen with drug–drug and drug–disease interactions. Of the 2,815 residents who did not have depression, 1,190 (42.3%) were prescribed one or more antidepressants; only 48 (4.0%) of these had a Food and Drug Administration–approved labeled indication, suggesting potential overuse. Overall, only 17.6% of antidepressant use was appropriate (324/1,844). The only consistent resident factor associated with potential underuse and overuse use was taking an antipsychotic without evidence of schizophrenia (underuse: adjusted relative risk ratio (ARRR)=0.56, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.33–0.94; overuse: adjusted odds ratio=1.52, 95% CI=1.21–1.91). Having moderate to severe pain (ARRR=1.54, 95% CI=1.08–2.20) and the prescribing of an anxiolytic or hypnotic (ARRR=1.33, 95% CI=1.02–1.74) increased the risk of potential inappropriate antidepressant use.
CONCLUSION: Potential problems with the use of antidepressants were frequently observed in older U.S. veteran CLC residents. Future studies are needed to examine the true risks and benefits of antidepressant use in CLC and non-VA nursing homes.