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Differential Impact of Two Risk Communications on Antipsychotic Prescribing to People with Dementia in Scotland: Segmented Regression Time Series Analysis 2001-2011

Citation
Guthrie B, Clark SA, Reynish E, McCowan C & Morales DR (2013) Differential Impact of Two Risk Communications on Antipsychotic Prescribing to People with Dementia in Scotland: Segmented Regression Time Series Analysis 2001-2011, PLoS ONE, 8 (7), Art. No.: e68976.

Abstract
Background:

Regulatory risk communications are an important method for disseminating drug safety information, but their impact varies. Two significant UK risk communications about antipsychotic use in older people with dementia were issued in 2004 and 2009. These varied considerably in their content and dissemination, allowing examination of their differential impact.
Methods:
Segmented regression time-series analysis 2001-2011 for people aged ≥ 65 years with dementia in 87 Scottish general practices, examining the impact of two pre-specified risk communications in 2004 and 2009 on antipsychotic and other psychotropic prescribing.
Results:
The percentage of people with dementia prescribed an antipsychotic was 15.9% in quarter 1 2001 and was rising by an estimated 0.6%/quarter before the 2004 risk communication. The 2004 risk communication was sent directly to all prescribers, and specifically recommended review of all patients prescribed relevant drugs. It was associated with an immediate absolute reduction in antipsychotic prescribing of 5.9% (95% CI -6.6 to -5.2) and a change to a stable level of prescribing subsequently. The 2009 risk communication was disseminated in a limited circulation bulletin, and only specifically recommended avoiding initiation if possible. There was no immediate associated impact, but it was associated with a significant decline in prescribing subsequently which appeared driven by a decline in initiation, with the percentage prescribed an antipsychotic falling from 18.4% in Q1 2009 to 13.5% in Q1 2011. There was no widespread substitution of antipsychotics with other psychotropic drugs.
Conclusions:
The two risk communications were associated with reductions in antipsychotic use, in ways which were compatible with marked differences in their content and dissemination. Further research is needed to ensure that the content and dissemination of regulatory risk communications is optimal, and to track their impact on intended and unintended outcomes. Although rates are falling, antipsychotic prescribing in dementia in Scotland remains unacceptably high. © 2013 Guthrie et al.

StatusPublished
AuthorsGuthrie Bruce, Clark Stella A, Reynish Emma, McCowan Colin, Morales Daniel R
Publication date17/07/2013
Publication date online17/07/2013
Date accepted by journal11/06/2013
PublisherPublic Library of Science
ISSN 1932-6203
LanguageEnglish

Journal
Plos one: Volume 8, Issue 7 (2013)

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