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To investigate the presence, nature and direction of the daily temporal association between depressive symptoms, cognitive performance and sleep in older individuals.
Design, setting, participants:
Single-subject study design in eight older adults with cognitive impairments and depressive symptoms.
For 63 consecutive days, depressive symptoms, working memory performance and night-time sleep duration were daily assessed with an electronic diary and actigraphy. The temporal associations of depressive symptoms, working memory and total sleep time were evaluated for each participant separately with time-series analysis (vector autoregressive modeling).
For seven out of eight participants we found a temporal association between depressive symptoms and/or sleep and/or working memory performance. More depressive symptoms were preceded by longer sleep duration in one person (r = 0.39; p < .001), by longer or shorter sleep duration than usual in one other person (B = 0.49; p < .001), by worse working memory in one person (B = −0.45; p = .007), and by better working memory performance in one other person (B = 0.35; p = .009). Worse working memory performance was preceded by longer sleep duration (r = −.35; p = .005) in one person, by shorter or longer sleep duration in three other persons (B = −0.76; p = .005, B = −0.61; p < .001; B = −0.34; p = .002), and by more depressive symptoms in one person (B = −0.25; p = .009).
The presence, nature and direction of the temporal associations between depressive symptoms, cognitive performance and sleep differed between individuals. Knowledge of personal temporal associations may be valuable for the development of personalized intervention strategies in order to maintain their health, quality of life, functional outcomes and independence.
People with young-onset dementia (YOD) living in nursing homes may experience poor quality of life (QoL) due to advanced dementia, high prevalence of neuropsychiatric symptoms and psychotropic drug use. However, the course of QoL in institutionalized people with YOD and factors that predict this course are unclear. This knowledge could help health professionals identify appropriate interventions to improve QoL in YOD.
To explore the course of QoL in institutionalized people with YOD and resident-related predictors of that course.
Secondary analyses were conducted with longitudinal data from the Behavior and Evolution in Young-ONset Dementia (BEYOND)-II study. A total of 278 people with YOD were recruited from 13 YOD special care units in the Netherlands. QoL was measured by the proxy assessment of Quality of Life in Dementia (QUALIDEM) questionnaire at four assessments over 18 months. Independent variables included age, gender, dementia subtype, length of stay, dementia severity, neuropsychiatric symptoms and psychotropic drug use at baseline. Multilevel modeling adjusted for correlation within nursing homes and residents was used to determine the course and predictors of QoL.
The total QUALIDEM score (range: 0–111) decreased over 18 months with a statistically significant decline of 0.73 points per six months. A significant increase of QoL over time was seen in the subscales “Care relationship”, “Positive self-image”, and “Feeling at home”. However, a significant decline was observed in the subscales “Positive affect”, “Social relations”, and “Something to do”. Residents’ course of QoL was positively associated with the baseline scores of the QoL, age and longer duration of stay; however, being male, having advanced dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and high rates of neuropsychiatric symptoms at baseline were negatively associated with the course of QoL
Longitudinal changes in QoL in residents with YOD were small over 18 months and QUALIDEM subscales showed multidirectional changes. The largest QoL decline in the subscale “Positive affect” suggests that interventions should be targeted to improve positive emotions, in particular for male residents with neuropsychiatric symptoms and advanced dementia.
Extreme neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) can be a heavy burden for nursing home (NH)-residents, relatives and caregivers. When conventional treatments are ineffective or have intolerable side effects, extreme NPS can be considered refractory. In these situations, continuous palliative sedation (CPS) is sometimes administered. We explored the trajectory leading to CPS and its application in NH-residents with dementia and refractory NPS.
A qualitative interview study was performed in 2017. Relatives, elderly care physicians and other staff members involved with three NH-residents with dementia and extreme refractory NPS who received CPS were interviewed. These NH-residents lived on dementia special care units of three NHs in the Netherlands. We used consecutive sampling to select participants. Medical files were studied. Semi-structured interviews were conducted. Transcriptions were analyzed with thematic analysis, including directed content analysis.
Nine in-depth interviews with fourteen participants were held. Analysis resulted in five main themes with several subthemes reflecting phases of the trajectory leading to CPS and the CPS application itself, a sixth main theme concerned evaluations thereof. According to the first theme (run-up), the suffering of the NH-resident was described as unbearable/an inner struggle. Participants still had hope for improvement. Concerning the second theme (turning point), hope was lost, participants were convinced they had tried everything and experienced feelings of powerlessness and failure. Regarding theme three (considering CPS), intermittent sedation was applied in all three cases and peer consultation was employed. Honoring the wish of the NH-resident and therapeutic uncertainties, among others, were important subthemes. According to theme four (decision to start CPS), in each case one specific aspect was a decisive trigger for administering CPS. Concerning theme five (applying CPS) feelings of relief were experienced after starting with CPS.
The trajectory leading up to CPS in NH-residents with dementia and extreme refractory NPS was complex and burdensome, but the application led to relief and contentment of all those involved. We recommend to include external consultation in the decision process and to apply intermittent sedation as a preceding step when CPS is considered.
Nursing home residents with dementia are sensitive to detrimental auditory environments. This paper presents the first literature review of empirical research investigating (1) the (perceived) intensity and sources of sounds in nursing homes, and (2) the influence of sounds on health of residents with dementia and staff.
A systematic review was conducted in PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus. Study quality was assessed with the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. We used a narrative approach to present the results.
We included 35 studies. Nine studies investigated sound intensity and reported high noise intensity with an average of 55–68 dB(A) (during daytime). In four studies about sound sources, human voices and electronic devices were the most dominant sources. Five cross-sectional studies focused on music interventions and reported positives effects on agitated behaviors. Four randomized controlled trials tested noise reduction as part of an intervention. In two studies, high-intensity sounds were associated with decreased nighttime sleep and increased agitation. The third study found an association between music and less agitation compared to other stimuli. The fourth study did not find an effect of noise on agitation. Two studies reported that a noisy environment had negative effects on staff.
The need for appropriate auditory environments that are responsive to residents’ cognitive abilities and functioning is not yet recognized widely. Future research needs to place greater emphasis on intervention-based and longitudinal study design.
Psychotropic drugs are frequently and sometimes inappropriately used for the treatment of neuropsychiatric symptoms of people with dementia, despite their limited efficacy and side effects. Interventions to address neuropsychiatric symptoms and psychotropic drug use are multifactorial and often multidisciplinary. Suboptimal implementation of these complex interventions often limits their effectiveness. This systematic review provides an overview of barriers and facilitators influencing the implementation of complex interventions targeting neuropsychiatric symptoms and psychotropic drug use in long-term care.
To identify relevant studies, the following electronic databases were searched between 28 May and 4 June: PubMed, Web of Science, PsycINFO, Cochrane, and CINAHL. Two reviewers systematically reviewed the literature, and the quality of the included studies was assessed using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme qualitative checklist. The frequency of barriers and facilitators was addressed, followed by deductive thematic analysis describing their positive of negative influence. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research guided data synthesis.
Fifteen studies were included, using mostly a combination of intervention types and care programs, as well as different implementation strategies. Key factors to successful implementation included strong leadership and support of champions. Also, communication and coordination between disciplines, management support, sufficient resources, and culture (e.g. openness to change) influenced implementation positively. Barriers related mostly to unstable organizations, such as renovations to facility, changes toward self-directed teams, high staff turnover, and perceived work and time pressures.
Implementation is complex and needs to be tailored to the specific needs and characteristics of the organization in question. Champions should be carefully chosen, and the application of learned actions and knowledge into practice is expected to further improve implementation.
Delirium is often missed in older outpatients. Caregivers can give valuable information that might improve identification rates. The aim of this study was to develop a short and sensitive delirium caregiver questionnaire (DCQ) for triage of elderly outpatients with cognitive impairment by telephone.
Design, setting, and participants:
The pilot questionnaire was administered to 112 caregivers of patients who were referred for dementia screening to our clinic for geriatric psychiatry, and the final DCQ to 234 other caregivers.
In phase I (2013–2014), we tested a pilot questionnaire with 17 items. Health professionals who established delirium diagnoses were blinded to the results. We then used the results and other information available at referral to construct the final DCQ with seven items. During phase II (2015–2016), we investigated the test accuracy of the final DCQ in a subsequent cohort. In both phases, the patients received a structured diagnostic workup. Time between referral and first visit was a secondary outcome.
The final DCQ consisted of the following items: emergency visit required, sleeping disorder, fluctuating course, hallucinations, suspicious thoughts, previous delirium, and recent discharge from hospital. DCQ results indicated that urgent intake was required in 85 of 234 patients. Sensitivity was 73.5% (95% CI: 58.9–85.1%) and specificity 73.5% (95% CI: 66.5–79.7%). The mean number of days to first visit dropped from 31.6 to 11.2 in delirious patients (p = 0.001).
Triage with the easy-to-use DCQ among patients referred for cognitive screening leads to earlier assessment and higher detection rates of delirium.
Before drawing conclusions on the contribution of an effective intervention to daily practice and initiating dissemination, its quality and implementation in daily practice should be optimal. The aim of this process evaluation was to study these aspects alongside a randomized controlled trial investigating the effects of a multidisciplinary biannual medication review in long-term care organizations (NTR3569).
Process evaluation with multiple measurements.
Thirteen units for people with dementia in six long-term care organizations in the Netherlands.
Physicians, pharmacists, and nursing staff of participating units.
The PROPER intervention is a structured and biannually repeated multidisciplinary medication review supported by organizational preparation and education, evaluation, and guidance.
Web-based questionnaires, interviews, attendance lists of education sessions, medication reviews and evaluation meetings, minutes, evaluation, and registration forms.
Participation rates in education sessions (95%), medication reviews (95%), and evaluation meetings (82%) were high. The intervention’s relevance and feasibility and applied implementation strategies were highly rated. However, the education sessions and conversations during medication reviews were too pharmacologically oriented for several nursing staff members. Identified barriers to implementation were required time, investment, planning issues, and high staff turnover; facilitators were the positive attitude of professionals toward the intervention, the support of higher management, and the appointment of a local implementation coordinator.
Implementation was successful. The commitment of both higher management and professionals was an important factor. This may partly have been due to the subject being topical; Dutch long-term-care organizations are pressed to lower inappropriate psychotropic drug use.
There is an increasing evidence that reminiscence therapy is effective in improving cognitive functions and reducing depressive symptoms in people with dementia. Life story books (LSBs) are frequently used as a reminiscence tool to support recollecting autobiographical memories. As little is known about how LSBs are used and what type of studies have been employed to evaluate LSB interventions, we conducted a systematic review.
The electronic databases Scopus, PubMed, and PsychINFO as well as reference lists of existing studies were searched to select eligible articles. Out of the 55 studies found, 14 met the inclusion criterion of an original empirical study on LSBs in people with dementia.
The majority of the LSBs were tangible books, although some digital applications were also found. The LSBs were created mostly in individual sessions in nursing homes with a median of six sessions. Some studies only focused on the person with dementia, while others also examined (in)formal caregivers. Most studies used qualitative interviews, case studies, and/or (pilot) randomized controlled trial (RCTs) with small sample sizes. Qualitative findings showed the value of LSBs in triggering memories and in improving the relation with the person with dementia. Quantitative effects were found on, e.g. autobiographical memory and depression of persons with dementia, quality of relationship with informal caregivers, burden of informal caregivers, and on attitudes and knowledge of formal caregivers.
This systematic review confirms that the use of LSBs to support reminiscence and person-centered care is promising, but larger RCTs or implementation studies are needed to establish the effects of LSBs on people with dementia.
We studied the patient and non-patients factors of inappropriate psychotropic drug (PD) prescription for neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) in nursing home patients with severe dementia.
In a cross-sectional study, the appropriateness of prescriptions was explored using the Appropriate Psychotropic drug use In Dementia (APID) index sum score. This index assesses information from medical records on indication, evaluation, dosage, drug–drug interactions, drug–disease interactions, duplications, and therapy duration. Various measurements were carried out to identify the possible patient and non-patient factors. Linear multilevel regression analysis was used to identify factors that are associated with APID index sum scores. Analyses were performed for groups of PDs separately, i.e. antipsychotics, antidepressants, anxiolytics, and hypnotics.
The sample consisted of 338 patients with a PD prescription that used 147 antipsychotics, 167 antidepressants, 85 anxiolytics, and 76 hypnotics. It was found that older patients and more severe aggression, agitation, apathy, and depression were associated with more appropriate prescriptions. Additionally, less appropriate prescriptions were found to be associated with more severe anxiety, dementia diagnoses other than Alzheimer dementia, more physician time available per patient, more patients per physician, more years of experience of the physician, and higher nurse's workload.
The association of more pronounced NPS with more appropriate PD prescriptions implies that physicians should pay more attention to the appropriateness of PD prescriptions when NPS are less manifest. Non-patient-related factors are also associated with the appropriateness of PD prescriptions. However, especially considering that some of these findings are counter-intuitive, more research on the topic is recommended.
People with Alzheimer's disease (AD) experience, in addition to the progressive loss of cognitive functions, a decline in functional performance such as mobility impairment and disability in activities of daily living (ADL). Functional decline in dementia is mainly linked to the progressive brain pathology. Peripheral biomechanical changes by advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) have been suggested but have yet to be thoroughly studied.
A multi-center, longitudinal, one-year follow-up cohort study was conducted in 144 people with early stage AD or mixed Alzheimer's/Vascular dementia. Linear mixed model analyses was used to study associations between AGE-levels (AGE reader) and mobility (Timed Up and Go), and ADL (Groningen Activity Restriction Scale and Barthel index), respectively.
A significant association between AGE levels and mobility (β = 3.57, 95%CI: 1.43–5.73) was revealed; however, no significant association between AGE levels and ADL was found. Over a one-year time span, mean AGE levels significantly increased, and mobility and ADL performance decreased. Change in AGE levels was not significantly correlated with change in mobility.
This study indicates that high AGE levels could be a contributing factor to impaired mobility but lacks evidence for an association with ADL decline in people with early stage AD or mixed dementia. Future research is necessary on the reduction of functional decline in dementia regarding the effectiveness of interventions such as physical activity programs and dietary advice possibly in combination with pharmacologic strategies targeting AGE accumulation.
Prescribing antipsychotics to patients with neuropsychiatric symptoms is a matter of concern. Physicians have to make treatment decisions for patients with dementia together with proxies and/or nurses. However, it is unknown whether physicians, nurses, and proxies’ treatment preferences are aligned; hence this study.
Sixteen treatment attributes were selected to elicit the preferences of physicians and nurses. Ten of these attributes were used for the proxies. Preferences were estimated using a case-1 Best-Worst-Scaling design; respondents are asked to select the best and worst attribute on being presented with a hypothetical patient with dementia demonstrating neuropsychiatric symptoms. The treatments offered are: antipsychotic treatment or non-pharmaceutical regimens.
The questionnaire was filled in by 41 physicians, 81 nurses, and 59 proxies. The non-pharmacological treatment option was chosen by 52% of the proxies and 71% of the physicians and nurses. The respondents who chose antipsychotics rated the aspects “fastest result” and “most effective” as important. Physicians ranked “experience with antipsychotics” as an important aspect for prescribing antipsychotics. Only the proxies rated the aspect “having a low negative effect on the patient” as important. The nurses and elderly care physicians who chose the non-pharmaceutical treatment ranked “appropriateness” and “of little burden to the patient” as important aspects.
While doctors and nurses prefer non-pharmacological interventions, proxies indicated a preference for pharmacological treatment because of the immediate effect. However, physicians follow treatment guidelines and nurses and proxies rely on the physician's recommendations. We suggest physicians should be sensitive to these differences.
Although physicians are responsible for writing the antipsychotic prescriptions for patients with dementia, the initiative is often taken by nurses or nursing assistants. To reduce antipsychotics uses, one needs to understand the reasons for nurses and nursing assistants to request them. This study gives an overview of the influencing factors for this request based on the Theory of Planned Behavior in which attitude, beliefs, and behavioral control is thought to influence the intention to request, which in turn affects the behavior to request for a prescription.
Eighty-one nurses and nursing assistants of one Dutch nursing home organization completed an online survey.
Nurses and nursing assistants frequently agreed on items related to the positive effects of antipsychotics for the resident and for the staff. Nurses and nursing assistants with a lower job satisfaction were more likely to call for antipsychotics. Having more positive beliefs about treatment effects and feel of being more in control toward asking for antipsychotics were positively associated with intention to call. All variables explained 59% of the variance of intention. The current position (nurse/nursing assistant) was associated with actual behavior to call. The explained variance was 25%.
Policy-makers should focus on the nurses’ and nursing assistants’ belief in positive effects of antipsychotics for the resident, which is not in line with available evidence. Nurses and nursing assistants should be educated about the limited effectiveness of antipsychotics.
Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) have a high prevalence among patients with dementia, up to 80%. NPS can be grouped by type and stage of dementia. However, NPS have not previously been grouped by gender. Our objective was to investigate whether NPS cluster differently in men or women in the nursing home patients.
Factor analysis to assess the clustering of items in the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI) and Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Nursing home version (NPI-NH) into components, for both scales and for gender. Differences in symptom clustering between male and female patients were assessed using a three-step procedure: (1) identifying a gender specific distinctive item, (2) describe the correlation between the distinctive item with any other item in this cluster, (3) testing whether the correlation between a distinctive item and any other item in the cluster (which is present in both sexes) is different for males and females using a general linear model.
Our database consisted of 1,609 patients. There were five male and three female clusters for NPI-NH and eight male and seven female clusters for CMAI. There were three distinctive items in the NPI-NH and ten in the CMAI.
There are other clusters of NPS in males and females. Our analysis revealed more significant relations in female than male patients. This might have an implication on the clinical course.
Despite the numerous warnings of European and national drug agencies as well as clinical guidelines since the year 2004, psychotropic drugs are still frequently used in dementia. A systematic review comparing the use of psychotropic drugs in nursing homes from different European countries is lacking.
The aim of this study was to examine prescription rates of psychotropic drug use in nursing home patients between different Western European countries since the first warnings were published.
A literature review was performed and the various psychotropic prescribing rates in European nursing homes were investigated. The prescription rates of antipsychotic and antidepressants were pooled per country. Other classes of psychotropic drugs could not be pooled because of the limited number of studies found.
Thirty-seven studies on antipsychotic drug use and 27 studies on antidepressant drug use conducted in 12 different European countries. The antipsychotic use in nursing homes ranged from 12% to 59% and antidepressant use from 19% to 68%. The highest rates of antipsychotic drug prescription were found in Austria, Ireland, and Belgium while for antidepressants in Belgium, Sweden, and France.
Despite warnings about the side effects and recommendation to focus on non-pharmacological interventions, antipsychotics and antidepressants are commonly used drugs in nursing homes. The data suggest that Norway does best with regards having a low antipsychotic drug usage. Studies are needed to explain the differences between Norway and other European countries.
This study explores the appropriateness of psychotropic drug (PD) use for neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) in nursing home patients with dementia.
A cross-sectional study on 559 patients with dementia residing on dementia special care units in Dutch nursing homes was conducted. Appropriateness of PD use was assessed using the Appropriate Psychotropic drug use In Dementia (APID) index. The APID index score is calculated using information about individual PDs from patients’ medical records. The index encompasses seven (different) domains of appropriateness, i.e. indication, evaluation, dosage, drug-drug interactions, drug-disease interactions, duplications, and therapy duration.
A total of 578 PDs were used for NPS by 60% of the nursing home patients. Indication, evaluation, and therapy duration contributed the most to inappropriate use. Ten per cent of the PDs scored fully appropriate according to the APID index sum score, 36% scored fully appropriate for indication, 46% scored fully appropriate for evaluation, and 58% scored fully appropriate for therapy duration. Antidepressants were used the most appropriately, and antiepileptics the most inappropriately.
The minority of the PD use was fully appropriate. The results imply that PD use for NPS in dementia can be improved; the appropriateness should be optimized with a clinical focus on the appropriate indications, evaluations, and therapy duration.
To produce a practice guideline that includes a set of detailed consensus principles regarding the prescription of antipsychotics (APs) amongst people with dementia living in care homes.
We used a modified Delphi consensus procedure with three rounds, where we actively specified and optimized statements throughout the process, utilizing input from four focus groups, carried out in UK, Norway, and the Netherlands. This was done to identify relevant themes and a set of statement that experts agreed upon using the Research and Development/University of California at Los Angeles (RAND/UCLA) methodology.
A total of 72 scientific and clinical experts and 14 consumer experts reached consensus upon 150 statements covering five themes: (1) General prescription stipulations, (2) assessments prior to prescription, (3) care and treatment plan, (4) discontinuation, and (5) long-term treatment.
In this practice guideline, novel information was provided about detailed indication and thresholds of symptoms, risk factors, circumstances at which APs should be stopped or tapered, specific criteria for justifying long-term treatment, involvement of the multidisciplinary team, and family caregiver in the process of prescription. The practice guideline is based on formal consensus of clinicians and consumer experts and provides clinicians relevant practical information that is lacking in current guidelines.
Background: The aim of the study was to examine whether staff distress and aspects of the nursing home environment were associated with psychotropic drug use (PDU) in patients with dementia.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of 1289 nursing home patients with dementia from 56 Dementia Special Care Units (SCUs) in the Netherlands. The primary outcome was PDU. Potential correlates of PDU were staff distress, environmental correlates (the number of patients per unit or per living room, staff/patient ratio, and the presence of a walking circuit), and patient factors (gender, age, dementia severity, and neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS)). Multilevel logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the relative contributions of predictor variables in explaining PDU.
Results: Staff distress, aspects of the physical nursing home environment and patients’ neuropsychiatric symptoms were independently associated with PDU. Staff distress at patients’ agitation was associated with antipsychotic and anxiolytic drug use (OR 1.66, 95% CI (1.16–2.36) and 1.62 (1.00–2.61), respectively). SCUs with more patients per living room had higher hypnotic drug use (OR 1.08, 95% CI (1.02–1.14)). Low staff/patient ratio was associated with high antidepressant drug use (OR 0.13, 95% CI (0.04–0.47)). The effects of nursing home environment on study outcome were smallest for antidepressant use (intra-SCU correlation 0.005) and highest for hypnotic use (intra-SCU correlation 0.171).
Conclusion: Staff distress and other environmental aspects are independently associated with PDU. These findings raise questions about the appropriateness of psychoactive drug prescriptions for nursing home patients with dementia.
Background: The IPA Taskforce on Mental Health Issues in Long-Term Care Homes seeks to improve mental health care in long-term care (LTC) homes. The aim of this paper is to provide recommendations on comprehensive assessment of depression and behavioral problems in order to further stimulate countries and professionals to enhance their quality of care.
Methods: Existing guidelines on comprehensive assessment of depression or behavioral problems in nursing home (NH) patients or patients residing in LTC homes were collected and a literature review was carried out to search for recent evidence.
Results: Five guidelines from several countries all over the world and two additional papers were included in this paper as a starting point for the recommendations. Comprehensive assessment of depression in LTC homes consists of a two-step screening procedure: an investigation to identify factors that influence the symptoms, followed by a formal diagnosis of depression according to DSM-IV-TR or the Provisional Diagnostic Criteria for Depression in Alzheimer Disease in cases of dementia. Comprehensive assessment of behavioral problems encompasses three steps: description and clarification of the behavior, additional investigation, and assessment of probable causes of the behavior. The procedure starts in the case of moderate behavioral problems.
Conclusion: The recommendations given in this paper provide a useful guide to professional workers in the LTC sector, but clinical judgment and the consideration of the unique aspects of individual residents and their situations is necessary for an optimal assessment of depression and behavioral problems. The recommendations should not be rigidly applied and implementation will differ from country to country.
Background: Neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia patients are common and are often treated with psychotropic drugs. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and correlates of psychotropic drug use in Dutch nursing home patients with dementia.
Methods: Psychotropic drug use of 1322 patients on 59 dementia special care units (SCUs) in 25 nursing homes was registered. Drugs were categorized according to the Anatomical Therapeutical Chemical classification (ATC). The influence of age, gender, dementia stage measured by the Global Deterioration Scale (GDS), and type of neuropsychiatric symptoms on psychotropic drug use was analyzed using binomial logistic regression analysis.
Results: 63% of the patients used at least one psychotropic drug. Psychotropics in general and antipsychotics in particular were most frequently prescribed in GDS stage 6, and in patients aged between 65 and 75 years. Psychotropics in general were positively associated with depression, night-time behavior and agitation. Antipsychotic drug use was positively associated with psychosis, agitation and night-time behavior and was negatively associated with apathy. Anxiolytics were associated with age, psychosis, agitation and night-time behavior. Antidepressants were most frequently prescribed in GDS stage 6 and associated with female gender, agitation and depression. Sedatives were only associated with night-time behavior.
Conclusion: Nursing home patients with dementia have a high prevalence of psychotropic drug use. In particular, the association with neuropsychiatric symptoms raises questions of efficacy of these drugs and the risk of chronic use.
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