Drugs and Pharmacology
Effect of Age on the Profile of Psychotropic Users: Results from the 2010 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey
Article first published online: 13 JAN 2014
© 2014, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2014, The American Geriatrics Society
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume 62, Issue 2, pages 358–364, February 2014
How to Cite
J Am Geriatr Soc 62:358–364, 2014.
- Issue published online: 12 FEB 2014
- Article first published online: 13 JAN 2014
- psychotropic prescribing;
- National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey
To describe the effect of age on psychotropic coprescribing, psychiatric diagnoses, and other clinical characteristics.
Analysis of the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey.
A national sample of outpatient visits to physicians (N = 2,406) in office-based practice in 2010.
Adults prescribed psychotropic medication (N = 31,229).
Office visits at which antidepressant, anxiolytic, sedative, hypnotic, antipsychotic, or mood stabilizer medications were prescribed were grouped according to participant age (21–64, ≥65) and then compared within each medication class on visit characteristics. and then compared according to variables including provider type, sex, and race; presence of diagnosed mental illness; prescription of other psychotropic agents; total number of chronic conditions; time spent with physician; and total number of medications.
In 2010, there were 90.3 million antidepressant office visits; 77.7 million anxiolytic/sedative/hypnotic visits; 15.5 million antipsychotic visits; and 9.5 million mood stabilizer visits. Nonpsychiatrists prescribed the majority of psychotropic medications for every class and age group; 17.3% of older adult antipsychotic visits and 44.9% of younger adult antipsychotic visits were to a psychiatrist (chi-square = 19.58, P = .001). Older adults in every medication class were less likely to have a diagnosed mental disorder.
Older adults prescribed psychotropic medication were less likely to have a diagnosed mental disorder than their younger counterparts. Efforts to promote quality prescribing should seek to minimize nonspecific use of psychotropic medication.