Antipsychotic prescribing patterns vary by nursing home and appear to be more a matter of facility prescribing culture than residents’ clinical status.
More than 29 percent of U.S. nursing home residents received at least one antipsychotic drug in 2006; some 32 percent of whom had no clinical need for those drugs. If much of that prescribing was due to facility-level factors, then residents who entered nursing homes with high facility-prescribing rates would be more likely to receive antipsychotic medications that those who entered nursing homes with lower prescribing rates.
The researchers categorized nursing homes into quintiles by prescribing rates. Comparing lowest prescribing rates (Q1) to highest prescribing rates (Q5), they found that:
Given safety concerns about antipsychotic drugs, this study could inform future policies to target high-prescribing nursing homes and improve the quality of care for nursing home residents.