• Patterns and Predictors of Depression Treatment among Older Adults with Dementia and Depression in Ambulatory Care Settings in the United States

      Bhattacharjee, Sandipan; Sun, Chongwoo; Gobin, Philippe; College of Pharmacy, The University of Arizona (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      Specific Aims: Dementia, or neurocognitive disorder (NCD), is the deterioration of performance in mental function, and is a disease state only expected to become more prevalent in the coming decades. Depression is twice as likely to develop in this population and is also shown to increase the rate of decline in those with NCD. This study was designed to determine patterns and predictors of depression treatment in elderly dementia patients in the ambulatory care setting in the United States using the Anderson Behavioral Model (ABM) Methods: We conducted retrospective cross-sectional study design by using multiple years (2005–2015) of data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS), an ongoing yearly survey administered by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The NAMCS uses a multistage probability design to obtain systematic random weekly samples of patients from physicians across the nation using a Patient Record Form capable of recording up to three diagnoses codes and eight prescription medications for each visit. A weighted frequency for national prevalence values was generated from our data analysis. A multivariate regression analysis was completed to determine which predisposing, enabling, and need factors were significant determinants to the nature of antidepressant treatment. Main Results: A total of 655 (un-weighted) ambulatory visits by older adults with dementia and depression were recorded by National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, or a national estimate of 14.46 million elderly patients visits with both NCD and depression. Predisposing factors such as race, age, sex, geographic region, and metro/non-metro; enabling factors such as insurance and physician specialty; and need factors such as new prescription drug, new patient, or reason for visit, or chronic disease states, were recorded. Multivariate analysis revealed gender, physician specialty, metro/non-metro, geographical region, and number of medications were significant determinants in how an elder NCD patient in the ambulatory setting receives treatment for depression. Conclusions: 62.89% of patients were treated for depression, with 61.45% of all patients receiving an antidepressant and 4.94% of patients receiving psychotherapy. Psychotherapy was utilized infrequently in this population, and SSRIs were the most common form of pharmacotherapy. This suggests this patient population is vulnerable to untreated depression and reveals a need for long-term studies investigating health outcomes in these patients.
    • Patterns and Predictors of Off-Label Antipsychotic Use Among Older Adults with Dementia in Ambulatory Care Settings in the United States (US)

      Bhattacharjee, Sandipan; Abou-Eid, Michelle; College of Pharmacy, The University of Arizona (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      Specific Aims: To examine the patterns and predictors of off-label antipsychotic use among older adults with dementia in the ambulatory care settings in US. Methods: This was a retrospective, cross-sectional study using pooled data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) (2005-2015). The study sample consisted of ambulatory visits by older adults (age ≥ 65 years) with dementia who were prescribed off-label antipsychotic(s). Dementia was identified by using ICD-9-CM codes of 290.xx, 294.xx, or 331.xx or by examining use of cholinesterase inhibitors or memantine. Antipsychotics are approved for treating individuals with schizophrenia (ICD-9-CM: 2950x–2959x), bipolar disorder (ICD-9-CM: 2960x, 2961x, 2964x–2969x), Tourette syndrome (ICD-9-CM: 307.23), or Huntington’s disease (ICD-9-CM: 333.4). Patients with these co-occurring diseases were excluded from the final study sample. Predictors of off-label antipsychotic use were determined using multivariable logistic regression adjusting for individual-level factors. All analyses were adjusted for the complex survey design of NAMCS to obtain nationally representative estimates. Main Results: Over the 11-year study period, there over 74 million visits by older adults with dementia without conditions approved for treatment with an antipsychotic, among whom 6.2 million (8.37%) visits received an off-label antipsychotic prescription. Factors that were significantly associated with off-label antipsychotic use were age, gender, race/ethnicity, physician specialty, region, number of medications recorded at the sampled visit, and number of past visits. Conclusions: Considering over 8% of older adults with dementia received off-label antipsychotic, appropriate interventions are warranted to minimize off-label antipsychotic use in this vulnerable population.
    • Quality Improvement Project: Reduction of Antipsychotic Use in Nursing Home Patients with Dementia

      Lee, Jeannie; Brownstein, Sandra; Moroz, Marina; Lee, Jeannie; Brownstein, Sandra; College of Pharmacy, The University of Arizona (The University of Arizona., 2013)
      Specific Aims: The purpose of the project was to determine if implementation of a detailed pharmacist recommendation form written for providers, could be an effective tool to reduce the use of antipsychotics in the psychiatric nursing home patients with dementia by 15%. Methods: The project was conducted by a pharmacy student and a consultant pharmacist at a single psychiatric nursing home. Thirty recommendations were written to the nursing home providers. The prescribers made comments on the forms and returned them to investigators for analysis. Active orders were compared pre and post pharmacy recommendations. Main Results: Of the 30 interventions, the prescriber addressed 26 (87%) recommendations and agreed to 15 (58%) of them. Nine recommendations involved either a GDR, discontinuation of a medication, or switching to a non-pharmacological method. Six of the nine (66%) recommendations led to the prescriber reducing the dose or discontinuing the medication. Overall, six out of 30 (20%) interventions resulted in a successful reduction of the use of antipsychotics. Conclusion: This project showed that when the prescribers see a more detailed pharmacist written recommendation regarding the therapy, they are more likely to respond with an explanation. However, even though the overall reduction was 20%, black box warnings did not seem to be a deterrent for prescribing in this psychiatric nursing home. Antipsychotics are heavily relied on to control behaviors associated with dementia.