Measuring the burden of psychoactive prescribing in older care home residents: a population analysis

University of Dundee

Past award

Student: Paula Grill : University of Dundee

Year Award Started: 2018

Psychoactive medicines influence how people think, feel and behave. For some medicines, this is their main aim (eg antidepressants) but for others these are side effects (eg many painkillers are sedative). Older people are particularly likely to be harmed by psychoative drugs, for example from falls and confusion caused by sedation. They are also very commonly prescribed multiple medicines with overlapping side effects. This is particularly true for care home residents who have very high health needs so are prescribed multiple medicines, but are particularly vulnerable to harmful side effects. Concerns are frequently raised about over use of psychoactive medicines in care homes, but there is a dearth of large-scale data on prescribing in care homes. This project will examine the cumulative burden of psychoactive prescribing in all care home residents in Tayside and Fife, and whether this varies between different groups of patients and between different care homes.

Research area: Neurological conditions (including stroke)


Professor Bruce Guthrie
School of Medicine