Antipsychotic prescribing in care homes before and after launch of a national dementia strategy: an observational study in English institutions over a 4-year period

Ala Szczepura, Deidre Wild, Amir J. Khan, D. W. Owen, T. Palmer, T. Muhammad, M. D. Clark, C. Bowman

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Objectives To assess associations between the launch of the National Dementia Strategy (NDS) and antipsychotic prescribing in long-term residential care (LTC) in England. Setting and participants Retrospective analysis of prescribing patterns in 616 LTC institutions (31 619 residents) following launch of the NDS, using information from electronic medicines management system. Primary and secondary outcome measures Antipsychotic prescribing point prevalence (PP) for all residents in a cross section of LTC settings over a 4-year period following NDS launch. Secondary outcomes included dosages, length of treatment and use of recommended second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) versus first-generation antipsychotics (FGAs). Associations between facility-level PP values and institutional characteristics, resident demographics were explored. Variations across geographical areas examined. Prescription net ingredient costs calculated. Results No statistically significant difference was observed in overall prescribing rates over the 4-year period (Kolmogorov-Smirnov (KS) test p=0.60), and there was no significant shift towards newer SGAs (KS test p=0.32). Dosages were above the maximum indicated in only 1.3% of cases, but duration of prescribing was excessive in 69.7% of cases. Care homes in the highest prescribing quintile were more likely to be located in a deprived area (rate ratio (Q5/Q1) RR=5.89, 95% CI 4.35 to 7.99), registered for dementia (RR=3.38, 95% CI 3.06 to 3.73) and those in the lowest quintile were more likely to be served by a single general practitioner (GP) practice (RR=0.48; 95% CI 0.37 to 0.63); p
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere009882
JournalBMJ Open
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016


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