The prescription of psychotropic drugs in psychiatric residential facilities: A national survey in Italy

R. Tomasi, G. De Girolamo, G. Santone, A. Picardi, R. Micciolo, D. Semisa, S. Fava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: This paper reports the prescriptions of psychotropic drugs made to 2962 patients living in 265 residential facilities (RFs) in Italy. Method: Structured interviews were administered to RF managers and staff to obtain data on patients' sociodemographic and clinical characteristics; information about current drug prescriptions were obtained from clinical records. Results: Polypharmacy was common: on average, each treated patient was taking 2.7 drugs (±1.1). The association of one atypical antipsychotic with one benzodiazepine represented the most common prescription profile. The variable most consistently associated with a higher likelihood of receiving polypharmacy was a history of admission to an acute general hospital psychiatric ward in the previous 12 months. Many prescriptions were loosely related to specific diagnoses. Conclusion: Psychotropic drug prescription patterns for severe patients living in RFs are characterized by substantial rates of polypharmacy. Specific guidelines may be helpful for long-stay patients living in RFs, who exhibit complex care needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-223
Number of pages12
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume113
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006

Keywords

  • Drug utilization
  • Polypharmacy
  • Psychotropic drugs
  • Residential facilities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neuroscience(all)

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