Drug Prescriptions in Nursing Home Residents during their Last 6 Months of Life: Data from the IQUARE Study
To assess the drug prescriptions of nursing home (NH) residents during the 6 months prior to their death, and the impact of the recognition of « life expectancy lower than 6 months » by the NH staff on the prescriptions.
175 nursing homes in France.
6275 residents were included from May to June 2011.
The initial drug prescriptions of the residents who deceased within 6 months were compared with those who did not decease. Among the residents deceased within 6 months, the drug prescriptions were compared between the residents who were «considered at the end of their life» and those who were not. Potentially inappropriate prescriptions (PIP) were analyzed using Laroche criteria and a list of therapies considered as inappropriate at the end of life.
498 residents (7.9%) died within 6 months after their inclusion: they had significantly more therapies (8.3 ± 3.8 vs. 7.9 ± 3.5, p=0.048) than non-deceased people. Sixty-one of the residents deceased within 6 months were considered by the NH staff as «end of life residents » (12.2%). They received significantly less drugs (6.4 ± 4.2 vs 8.5 ± 3.6, p<0.001) than NH’s residents not identified at the end of their life. They had a more frequent prescription of opioids (p<0.001), and less antipsychotics (p<0.001), lipid-lowering drugs (p=0.006), or antihypertensive therapies (p<0.01). They also received significantly less PIP (59.0% received at least one inappropriate prescription, vs. 87.2%, p<0.001).
An important proportion of nursing home residents received PIP. The quality of prescriptions in patients identified at the end of their life seems to improve, but more than half still receive inappropriate drugs. Special attention in prescribing should be given to these patients presenting a high risk of adverse events.
Key wordsElderly nursing home end of life drug
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