, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 238-241

Worden psychofarmaca in het verpleeghuis te vaak voorgeschreven?

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Abstract

Are psychotropic drugs too frequently prescribed in Dutch nursing homes? In 1993 Ribbe en Hertogh published a paper in which they expressed their concern about the high prevalence of psychotropic drug use in Dutch nursing homes. Since then, this situation does not seem to have been changed significantly. Recent figures from psychotropic drug use in patients with dementia show prevalence rates of over 60%. The Dutch government decided to choose the prevalence of psychotropic drug use as an indicator of the quality of care and invested in a specific improvement project that aims to reduce psychotropic drug use among nursing home patients. There is a small body of evidence from international research that antipsychotics safely can be reduced without a rise in problem behaviours. In combination with the limited effectiveness and the risk of stroke and increased mortality, the question raises whether these agents should be prescribed at all at least for patients with dementia. A recent study from the UK however, found a significant decrease of antipsychotic drug use by heavily investing in all kinds of person-centered care skills of the nursing staff. These findings underscore the necessity of investing in the caregivers of nursing homes to be able to cope with the complex problems they are faced with.

Tijdschr Gerontol Geriatr 2007; 38: 270-273

Correspondentie: Prof. dr. Raymond T.C.M. Koopmans, UMC St Radboud, Afdeling Verpleeghuisgeneeskunde, Vphg 117 Postbus 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen. E-mail: R.Koopmans@vphg.umcn.nl