Deprescribing Psychotropic Medications in Aged Care Facilities: The Potential Role of Family Members

  • Christos Plakiotis
  • J. Simon Bell
  • Yun-Hee Jeon
  • Dimity Pond
  • Daniel W. O’Connor
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 821)


There is widespread concern in Australia and internationally at the high prevalence of psychotropic medication use in residential aged care facilities. It is difficult for nurses and general practitioners in aged care facilities to cease new residents’ psychotropic medications when they often have no information about why residents were started on the treatment, when and by whom and with what result. Most existing interventions have had a limited and temporary effect and there is a need to test different strategies to overcome the structural and practical barriers to psychotropic medication cessation or deprescribing. In this chapter, we review the literature regarding psychotropic medication deprescribing in aged care facilities and present the protocol of a novel study that will examine the potential role of family members in facilitating deprescribing. This project will help determine if family members can contribute information that will prove useful to clinicians and thereby overcome one of the barriers to deprescribing medications whose harmful effects often outweigh their benefits. We wish to understand the knowledge and attitudes of family members regarding the prescribing and deprescribing of psychotropic medications to newly admitted residents of aged care facilities with a view to developing and testing a range of clinical interventions that will result in better, safer prescribing practices.


Psychotropic medication Deprescribing Aged care facilities Older adults Dementia 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christos Plakiotis
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. Simon Bell
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Yun-Hee Jeon
    • 6
  • Dimity Pond
    • 7
  • Daniel W. O’Connor
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash HealthMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Aged Psychiatry Academic UnitMonash University, Kingston CentreCheltenhamAustralia
  3. 3.Centre for Medicine Use and SafetyMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.Sansom Institute, School of Pharmacy and Medical SciencesUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia
  5. 5.Faculty of Health Sciences, School of PharmacyUniversity of Eastern FinlandKuopioFinland
  6. 6.Sydney Nursing SchoolThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  7. 7.Discipline of General PracticeThe University of NewcastleNewcastleAustralia

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