Pharmacy World and Science

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 144–148 | Cite as

Evaluation of patient outcomes in an area where prescribing of anticholinergic antidepressants was influenced by academic detailing

  • M.E.C. van EijkEmail author
  • S.V. Belitser
  • A.J Porsius
  • A. de Boer


Objective:To evaluate, on a patient level, the effect of a "physician-level intervention" that successfully reduced the incidence of anticholinergic antidepressant prescribing. Design:Cross-sectional surveys with questionnaires sent before and after intervention. Setting:Additional study in an RCT to reduce the prescribing of highly anticholinergic antidepresssants in the elderly in the South Holland Islands.Participants:Elderly patients (age 60-95 years) who used antidepressants in 1995 and 1996 in our research area according to a health insurance prescription database. Main outcome measures:Prevalence of adverse events related to antidepressant use, severity of depression and quality of life were compared in users living in the intervention and control areas. Results:Prior to our intervention we sent 2,359 questionnaires of which we could use 827 (3528%) for analysis. At baseline, there were no statistically significant differences between the intervention and control areas. After the intervention 3,375 questionnaires were sent, of which 939 (28%) could be used. The occurrence of "dry mouth" and "coughing" and the "amount of pain" were lower in the intervention area compared to the control area (p < 0.05).Conclusion:We found no indications that adverse events, severity of depression or quality of life were changed in an unfavourable direction, when comparing patients inside and outside the intervention area.

Academic detailing Adverse events Continuing professional development COOP/WONCA charts Depression, elderly Patient outcome measures Questionnaires The Netherlands 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • M.E.C. van Eijk
    • 1
    Email author
  • S.V. Belitser
    • 2
  • A.J Porsius
    • 2
  • A. de Boer
    • 2
  1. 1.Dutch Institute for the Effective Use of Medication "DGV"UtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Anthonius de Boer: Department of Pharmacoepidemiology and PharmacotherapyUtrecht Institute of Pharmaceutical SciencesUtrechtThe Netherlands

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