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Medical Care:
doi: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000000076
Brief Report

Antipsychotic Use in Nursing Homes Varies by Psychiatric Consultant

Tjia, Jennifer MD, MSCE*,†; Field, Terry DSc*,†; Lemay, Celeste RN, MPH*,†; Mazor, Kathleen EdD*,†; Pandolfi, Michelle MSW, MBA, LNHA; Spenard, Ann RN; Ho, Shih-Yieh PhD, MPH; Kanaan, Abir PharmD*,§; Donovan, Jennifer PharmD*,§; Gurwitz, Jerry H. MD*,†; Briesacher, Becky PhD*,†

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Abstract

Background: The relationship between psychiatric consultation and antipsychotic prescribing in nursing homes (NH) is unknown.

Objective: To identify the association between psychiatric consultant groups and NH-level antipsychotic prescribing after adjustment for resident case-mix and facility characteristics.

Research Design and Subjects: Nested cross-sectional study of 60 NHs in a cluster randomized trial. We linked facility leadership surveys to October 2009–September 2010 Minimum Data Set, Nursing Home Compare, the US Census, and pharmacy dispensing data.

Measures: The main exposure is the psychiatric consultant group and the main outcome is NH-level prevalence of atypical antipsychotic use. We calculated annual means and interquartile ranges of NH-level antipsychotic use for each consultant group and arrayed consultant groups from lowest to highest prevalence. Generalized linear models were used to predict antipsychotic prescribing adjusting for resident case-mix and facility characteristics. Observed versus predicted antipsychotic prescribing levels were compared for each consultant group.

Results: Seven psychiatric consultant groups served a range of 3–27 study facilities. Overall mean facility-level antipsychotic prescribing was 19.2%. Mean prevalence of antipsychotic prescribing ranged from 12.2% (SD, 5.8) in the lowest consultant group to 26.4% (SD, 3.6) in the highest group. All facilities served by the highest-ranked consultant group had observed antipsychotic levels exceeding the overall study mean with half exceeding predictions for on-label indications, whereas most facilities served by the lowest-ranked consultant group had observed levels below the overall study and predicted means.

Conclusions: Preliminary evidence suggests that psychiatric consultant groups affect NH antipsychotic prescribing independent of resident case-mix and facility characteristics.

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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