Initiation of antipsychotics after moving to residential aged care facilities and mortality: a national cohort study

Stephanie L. Harrison, Janet K. Sluggett, Catherine Lang, Craig Whitehead, Maria Crotty, Megan Corlis, Steve Wesselingh, Maria C. Inacio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: There is a high burden of antipsychotic use in residential aged care facilities (RACFs) and there is concern regarding potential inappropriate prescribing of antipsychotics in response to mild behavioural symptoms. Antipsychotic use has been associated with a higher risk of mortality in community-dwelling older adults with dementia, but few studies have examined associations upon RACF entry. Aims: To examine associations between incident antipsychotic use and risk of mortality for people with and without diagnosed dementia in RACFs. Methods: A retrospective cohort study, employing a new-user design (individuals did not receive an antipsychotic 6 months before enrolment) of 265,820 people who accessed RACFs in Australia between 1/4/2008 and 30/6/2015 was conducted. Cox regression models were used to examine adjusted associations between antipsychotic use in the first 100 days of RACF entry and mortality. Results: In the 100 days after entering care, 29,455 residents (11.1%) were dispensed an antipsychotic. 180,956 (68.1%) residents died [38,249 (14.4%) were related to cerebrovascular causes] over a median 2.1 years (interquartile range 1.0–3.6) follow-up. Of the residents included, 119,665 (45.0%) had a diagnosis of dementia. Incident antipsychotic use was associated with higher risk of mortality in residents with dementia (adjusted hazard ratio 1.20, 95% confidence interval 1.18–1.22) and without dementia (1.28, 1.24–1.31). Conclusion: Initiation of antipsychotics after moving to RACFs is associated with a higher risk of mortality. Careful consideration of the potential benefits and harms should be given when starting a new prescription for antipsychotics for people moving to RACFs.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalAging Clinical and Experimental Research
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Open AccessThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attri-bution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adapta-tion, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creat iveco mmons .org/licen ses/by/4.0/.

Keywords

  • Antipsychotics
  • Dementia
  • Mortality
  • Nursing homes

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