Brief Report| Volume 22, ISSUE 1, P178-181, January 2021

Factors Associated With Antimicrobial Use in Nursing Home Residents With Advanced Dementia

Published:August 21, 2020DOI:



      Widespread antimicrobial misuse among nursing home (NH) residents with advanced dementia raises concerns regarding the emergence of multidrug-resistant organisms and avoidable treatment burden in this vulnerable population. The objective of this report was to identify facility and resident level characteristics associated with receipt of antimicrobials in this population.


      Cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from the Trial to Reduce Antimicrobial use in Nursing home residents with Alzheimer's disease and other Dementias (TRAIN-AD).

      Setting and Participants

      Twenty-eight Boston area NHs, 430 long stay NH residents with advanced dementia.


      The outcome was the proportion of residents who received any antimicrobials during the 2 months prior to the start of TRAIN-AD determined by chart review. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify resident and facility characteristics associated with this outcome.


      A total of 13.7% of NH residents with advanced dementia received antimicrobials in the 2 months prior to the start of TRAIN-AD. Residents in facilities with the following characteristics were significantly more likely to receive antimicrobials: having a full time nurse practitioner/physician assistant on staff [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 3.02; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.54, 5.94], fewer existing infectious disease practices (eg, antimicrobial stewardship programs, established algorithms for infection management) (aOR, 2.35; 95% CI 1.14, 4.84), and having fewer residents with severely cognitively impaired residents (aOR 1.96; 95% CI 1.12, 3.40). No resident characteristics were independently associated with receipt of antimicrobials.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Facility-level characteristics are associated with the receipt of antimicrobials among residents with advanced dementia. Implementation of more intense infectious disease practices and targeting the prescribing practices of nurse practitioners/physician assistants may be critical targets for interventions aimed at reducing antimicrobial use in this population.


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