Objectives: Despite limited efficacy and significant safety concerns, antipsychotic medications are frequently used to treat behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) in long-term residential care. This study evaluates the sustained reduction of antipsychotic use for BPSD through a deprescribing intervention and education of health care professionals. Design: Repeated-measures, longitudinal, single-arm study. Setting: Long-term residential care of older adults. Participants: Nursing staff from 23 nursing homes recruited 139 residents taking regular antipsychotic medication for ≥3 months, without primary psychotic illness, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, or severe BPSD. Intervention: An antipsychotic deprescribing protocol was established. Education of general practitioners, pharmacists, and residential care nurses focused on nonpharmacological prevention and management of BPSD. Measurements: The primary outcome was antipsychotic use over 12-month follow-up; secondary outcomes were BPSD (Neuropsychiatric Inventory, Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory, and social withdrawal) and adverse outcomes (falls, hospitalizations, and cognitive decline). Results: The number of older adults on regular antipsychotics over 12 months reduced by 81.7% (95% confidence interval: 72.4-89.0). Withdrawal was not accompanied by drug substitution or a significant increase in pro-re-nata antipsychotic or benzodiazepine administration. There was no change in BPSD or in adverse outcomes. Conclusion: In a selected sample of older adults living in long-term residential care, sustained reduction in regular antipsychotic use is feasible without an increase of BPSD.
|Journal||Journal of the American Medical Directors Association|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jul 2018|
- Antipsychotic withdrawal
- behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Geriatrics and Gerontology