The objective of this study is to explore factors that elucidate reasons for psychotropic drug (PD) prescription for neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) in nursing home (NH) residents with dementia.
A qualitative study using a grounded theory approach.
Twelve NHs in The Netherlands.
Fifteen physicians and 14 nurses.
Individual, face-to-face, in-depth semistructured interviews. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and qualitatively analyzed using Atlas.ti.
The qualitative analysis revealed 4 emerging themes with factors either or both enhancing or limiting PD prescription, which we used to develop a conceptual framework. First, the mindset of physicians and nurses toward NPS and PDs appeared to contribute. Second, inadequate knowledge of and experience with NPS and limited people skills of nurses may induce PD prescription. Also, knowledge of effectiveness and side effects of PDs from education, literature, and guidelines, and previous personal experiences was considered relevant. Third, effective communication and cooperation between professionals and with family may improve the appropriateness of PD prescription. Fourth, external factors including staffing issues, nursing home setting, access to consultants, national and local policies, and zeitgeist were considered to affect PD prescription.
We have developed a conceptual framework explaining how different factors influence PD prescription. This provides opportunities for improving PD prescription in NH residents with dementia.
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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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