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The European Journal of Psychiatry

versão impressa ISSN 0213-6163


TELLEZ-LAPEIRA, Juan et al. Prevalence of psychotropic medication use and associated factors in the elderly. Eur. J. Psychiat. [online]. 2016, vol.30, n.3, pp.183-194. ISSN 0213-6163.

Background and Objectives: The object of our study was to estimate the prevalence of psychotropic drug use among non-institutionalised elderly people 65 years or older and identify possible conditioning factors. Methods: A cross-sectional, observational study was carried out of 1161 subjects aged 65 years and older. Participants were randomly selected from health care registry listings. The main outcomes of interest were based on self-reporting and included consumption of psychotropic and other drugs (filed by the ATC Classification System), mood (based on the GDS-VE), cognitive status (Pfeiffer Questionnaire), physical-functional assessment based on Katz score, health problems (ICPC-2 classification WONCA) and socio-demographic variables. Results: The prevalence of self-reported psychotropic drug consumption was 20.5% (95% CI: 18.2 to 22.8). Anxiolytics and hypnotics were consumed by 16.6% of the elderly, antidepressants by 7.0% and antipsychotics by only 2.1%. In multivariate logistical analyses, the use of psychotropics was independently associated with other drug consumption (non-psychotropics), (OR: 4.0, 95% CI: 1.7 to 9.5), presence of established depression (OR: 3.2, 95% CI: 1.3 to 7.6), presence of 4 or more comorbidities (OR: 2.7, 95% CI: 1.9 to 3.8), being female (OR: 2.1, 95% CI: 1.5 to 3.0) and being dependent for basic activities of daily living (OR: 1.7, 95% CI: 1.0 to 2.6). Conclusions: The prevalence of psychotropic drug use among the elderly from Albacete is high. Several factors were identified as potential determinants of psychotropic drug use. It will be important to evaluate the misuse of these drugs in order to inform effective, efficient and safe prescription strategies.

Palavras-chave : Drug use; Elderly; Epidemiological factors; Prevalence; Psychotropic drugs.

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