Social Engagement and Antipsychotic Use in Addressing the Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia in Long-Term Care Facilities

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Abstract

Objectives

The use of antipsychotics, mainly to address the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), remains a common and frequent practice in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) despite their associated risks. The objective of this study was to explore the association between social engagement (SE) and the use of antipsychotics in addressing the BPSD in newly admitted residents to LTCFs.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was undertaken using administrative data, primarily the Resident Assessment Instrument Minimum Data Set (Version 2.0) that collected between 2008 and 2011 (Fraser Health region, British Columbia, Canada). The data analysis conducted on a sample of 2,639 newly admitted residents aged 65 or older with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias as of their first full or first quarterly assessment. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were undertaken to predict antipsychotic use based on SE.

Results

SE was found to be a statistically significant predictor of antipsychotic use when controlling for sociodemographic variables (odds ratio (OR) = .86, p < .0001, confidence interval (CI) [0.82, 0.90]). However, the association disappeared when controlling for health variables (OR = .97, p = .21, CI [0.97, 1.0]).

Conclusion

The prediction of antipsychotic use in newly admitted residents to LTCFs by SE is complex. Further research is warranted for further examination of the association of antipsychotic use in newly admitted residents to LTCFs.

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