Title

The Relationship of Antipsychotic Drug Use, Resident Behavior, and Diagnoses Among Nursing Home Residents

Publication Date

1992

Journal

Journal of Aging and Health

Volume

4

Issue

4

First Page

514

Last Page

535

Abstract

Nursing homes have been criticized for frequent use and possible misuse of psycho-active agents. These issues are of clinical concern and policy relevance, especially since the passage of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) of 1987. Using a sample of 419 residents, the authors examined the relationships among antipsychotic drug (AP) use, behavior, and mental health diagnoses. Only 23.2% of the residents were administered APs on a routine and/or "as-needed" basis. Based on the Multidimensional Observation Scale for Elderly Subjects (MOSES) ratings, AP users were more irritable, disoriented, and withdrawn than were nonusers. Also, AP users demonstrated agitated behaviors more frequently. Notably, AP users and nonusers differed significantly in terms of documented mental health diagnoses. Among AP users, 70.1% had documented dementia, 8.3% were psychotic or had other psychiatric disorders, and 21.6% had no mental health diagnoses. In contrast, the majority of nonusers had no mental health disorders. Logistic regression revealed that diagnostic factors, frequency of agitation, level of withdrawal, and marital status were significant predictors of AP use.

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