Psychotropic Drug Use and Health Outcomes in Nursing Homes
This chapter describes the first analysis of the nursing home portion of the data and first investigation of associations between drug use and health outcome in this cohort of nursing home residents. Certain patient characteristics such as advanced age, male sex, type of physical illness, and functional status have been associated with mortality. It is quite logical to expect that some or all of these characteristics might also be associated with a greater or lesser likelihood of being prescribed psychotropic drugs, and thus potentially confound an epidemiologic study of psychotropic drug use and mortality. Psychotropic drugs consisted of antipsychotics, antidepressants, and sedative-hypnotics. When psychotropic drug use is stratified by the nursing home staff member’s assessment of whether the resident displayed aberrant behavior, it can be seen that patients with depressive symptomatology and symptomatology consistent with organic brain syndrome did appear to use more psychotropic drugs that those without the symptoms.