Residents in nursing homes have tended to be exposed to inappropriate medication, particularly in regard to the excessive use of anti-psychotics which are commonly prescribed for nursing home residents suffering from dementia. This review attempted to identify the effect of interventions aimed at reducing potentially inappropriate use or prescribing of drugs in nursing homes.
The outcomes assessed were the use /prescribing of drugs (primary) and the health-related outcomes such as falls, physical limitation, hospitalisation and mortality (secondary). Twenty randomised controlled trials were included from 1631 evaluated references. Ten studies tested different kinds of educational interventions while seven studies tested medication reviews by pharmacists.
It was found that interventions using educational outreach, on-site education given alone or as part of an intervention package and a pharmacist medication review may – under certain circumstances – bring about a reduction in inappropriate drug prescribing.
Note: The authors of this review were concerned about the poor quality of the evidence, and were unable to draw firm conclusions.
Forsetlund, L. Eike, MC. [and] Gjerberg, E. [et al] (2011). Effect of interventions to reduce potentially inappropriate use of drugs in nursing homes: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials. BMC Geriatrics, April 17th 2011, Vol.11(16), pp.1-41. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).