Antipsychotic prescribing in care homes before and after launch of a national dementia strategy

An observational study (2015) in English institutions over a 4-year period | BMJ Open PDF

Strengths and limitations of this study

  • To our knowledge, this is the first UK study to examine long-term impact of a national policy initiative on antipsychotic prescribing in carehomes. The samples studied are many times those of other UK antipsychotic usage studies.
  • Prescribing rates, antipsychotic agent type (including unlicensed antipsychotics) and length of treatment were unchanged.
  • The factors preventing sustained change in anti-psychotic prescribing and regional variations observed remain unclear.
  • One limitation of this observational study is the lack of comparable national data to demonstrate representativeness of the study sample.
  • A further limitation of this study is the lack of clinical and staffing data to complement the detailed prescription data.

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