Aim: Pharmacological treatments are often used in treating the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) in nursing homes, despite the fact that non-pharmacological treatments are recommended as a first-line treatment and can provide a suitable alternative. Because the course of BPSD is known to fluctuate depending on individual symptoms over time, the frequencies of drug use and BPSD, as well as their association, should be observed over a longer period. We investigated the association between the changes in psychotropic drug (PD) use and BPSD, focusing on the number of symptoms, severity, and care burden over 1 year among long-term care facility residents. Methods: A 1-year follow-up study was conducted among older residents with dementia or similar symptoms (n = 312 at baseline; n = 237 at follow-up) by using a care staff questionnaire in 10 long-term care facilities in Hokkaido, Japan. Medication use was determined based on prescription information. The brief questionnaire form of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory was used to assess BPSD. Results: Among residents followed up for 1 year, new users of PD—particularly anxiolytics and hypnotics—had a significantly increased number and severity of BPSD, compared with non-PD users. Continuing PDs was also related to increased severity over the year. Among residents with any persistent BPSD for 1 year, new use of PDs—particularly anxiolytics and hypnotics—was significantly associated with an increased care burden of BPSD, compared with the non-use of PDs. The discontinuation of PDs was significantly associated with a decreased care burden, compared with the non-use of PDs. Conclusions: Our study suggests that PDs, particularly anxiolytics and hypnotics, may be prescribed carefully in response to exacerbation of BPSD in terms of the number of symptoms, severity, and care burden in long-term care facilities. Continuous monitoring of PDs use and BPSD is important to effectively address BPSD.
|Number of pages||9|
|State||Published - Mar 2019|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We are grateful for the support of all of the residents and care staff in the long-term care facilities. We thank Jennifer Barrett, PhD, from Edanz Group (www.edanzediting.com/ac) for editing a draft of this manuscript. This work was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science under KAKENHI grants 26860431 and 17K09187.
© 2018 Japanese Psychogeriatric Society
- long-term care
- longitudinal study
- major neurocognitive disorder
- neuropsychiatric symptoms
- residential facilities
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology
- Psychiatry and Mental health