International initiatives to address inappropriate psychotropic use in long term aged care – learning from each other
Mental health conditions are very common in long-term aged care, with incidence increasing. Over half of residents have dementia. The majority will experience behavioural and psychological symptoms, including agitation, psychosis and sleep disturbance. Although professional guidelines endorse detailed assessment of these symptoms and non-pharmacological strategies as the first treatment approach, many residents are treated with psychotropic medication despite modest effectiveness alongside substantial risk of adverse effects such as falls and stroke. Many residents without dementia also suffer from anxiety and sleep disturbance. Again, non-pharmacological strategies are recommended as initial treatment yet psychotropics are often prescribed.
This workshop will outline and contrast intervention approaches of several countries, the Netherlands, Australia, the U.K and the U.S. to reduce inappropriate psychotropic use in long term care. The benefits and barriers associated with each intervention approach will be identified and discussed, with the ultimate aim of integrating key learnings from international researchers to address this important issue.
Department/SchoolPharmacy, Wicking Dementia Research Education Centre