• Rx Free Sleep: Improving Sleep Through Behavioral and Environmental Interventions and Pharmacy Driven Taper Recommendation of Hypnotic Sleep Medications for Assisted Living Residents

      Lee, Jeannie; Lee, Sandy; Kaitschuck, Angela; Sassenrath, Kimberly; Weng, Cindy; College of Pharmacy, The University of Arizona (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      Specific Aims: To safely reduce the use of potentially dangerous sleep medications in geriatric patients while simultaneously providing sleep hygiene techniques to improve sleep in a natural way without medications. Methods: Study participants enrolled in either sleep hygiene only or sleep hygiene and sleep medication taper track. All participants completed a Sleep Survey and IOWA Fatigue Scale (IFS) pre- and post-intervention. Student pharmacists provided an initial one-on-one educational session on sleep hygiene techniques and set individualized goals with each elder. Those enrolled in the medication taper track had a personalized taper schedule sent to their provider. Follow-up sessions were conducted 3 and 6 weeks after the initial session. Main Results: Among eight participants (mean age 74.8 years, 63% female), those with fatigue per the IFS was reduced from 6 to 3 post-intervention (p=0.375). Sleep questionnaire showed time-to-sleep was shortened by 8.3 minutes, nightly sleep increased by 0.69 hours, and coffee/tea consumption was reduced by 0.38 and 0.13 cups, respectively. While the results demonstrate no statistical improvement in the proportions of participants with fatigue, many participants subjectively reported that they noticed sleep improvements and plan to continue the behavioral changes after the study. Conclusions: Providing proper sleep hygiene education and reducing the use of sleep medications is beneficial in older assisted-living residents. This study showed no negative impacts on Elders’ quality of life and is a simple program that can be implemented at other facilities.