Gradual withdrawal from benzodiazepines in residents of homes for the elderly: experience and suggestions for future research

  • H. Habraken
  • K. Soenen
  • L. Blondeel
  • J. Van Elsen
  • J. Bourda
  • E. Coppens
  • M. Willeput
Clinical Trials

DOI: 10.1007/s002280050213

Cite this article as:
Habraken, H., Soenen, K., Blondeel, L. et al. Eur J Clin Pharmacol (1997) 51: 355. doi:10.1007/s002280050213

Abstract

Objective

A randomised, controlled clinical trial was performed to study the long-term effect of gradual withdrawal from benzodiazepines on the daily functioning of residents of homes for the elderly. The planned sample size was not achieved due to recruitment and follow-up problems.

Results

The results in this small sample nevertheless suggest that gradual withdrawal from benzodiazepines is possible in residents of homes for the elderly, and that it can have a positive effect on their daily functioning. No major withdrawal symptoms were observed, although there was a decrease in sleep quality during withdrawal.

Conclusion

The findings are promising for further research, but researchers should anticipate the problems inherent in executing a trial with institutionalised elderly subjects.

Key words

Behaviour observation scale Benzodiazepines Homes for the elderly Sleep quality Withdrawal symptoms 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Habraken
    • 1
    • 4
  • K. Soenen
    • 1
  • L. Blondeel
    • 1
  • J. Van Elsen
    • 2
  • J. Bourda
    • 2
  • E. Coppens
    • 3
  • M. Willeput
    • 3
  1. 1.Projekt FarmakaGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Ghent City General Practitioners’ Association, General Practitioners’ Formulary GroupHomes for the Elderly of the Public Centre of Social WelfareGhentBelgium
  3. 3.Homes for the Elderly of the Public Centre of Social WelfareGhentBelgium
  4. 4.GentBelgium