OJPsych  Vol.4 No.2 , April 2014
Improving the Appropriateness of Antipsychotic Prescribing for Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD): A Pilot Study of the Psychotropic Use Monitoring (PUM) Program
Abstract: In nursing homes, antipsychotic prescribing decisions (APDs) for managing behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) depend on the nursing staff’s feedback. Inappropriate APDs can result in the lack of timeliness, objectivity and important clinical information when nursing staff’s feedback on residents’ behavior and pharmacotherapy outcomes. Currently, there are no reported interventions for improving psychiatrists’ APDs through nursing staff’s monitoring and feedback processes. This one-group pre-and-post pilot study aimed to evaluate the feasibility and impact of implementing a newly-developed Psychotropic Use Monitoring (PUM) program for improving the appropriateness of APDs in a 50-bed dementia ward of a nursing home. The PUM intervention involved 16 pharmacist-trained nursing staff, who monitored and reported residents’ BPSD changes and psychotropic side effects for 24 weeks, while carrying out their routine care duties. A face-to-face interview was then administered to determine the nursing staff’s perceptions of PUM. Data of 51 residents were collected from hardcopy individual patient records to evaluate the changes in APDs and the number of resident falls before and after implementing PUM. The nursing staff reported increases in their knowledge, awareness, confidence, and actual frequency of monitoring for side effects, as well as their ability in differentiating and managing BPSD (p < 0.05). After PUM, there was a significant increase in the number of APDs due to side effect-related reasons (4 versus 16) (p < 0.031). Although not significant, the number of APDs with no documented reasons (5 versus 9) and the number of resident falls (7 versus 15) appeared to be lesser after PUM. This study demonstrated the nursing staff’s positive participation in PUM intervention, specifically in monitoring and feedback of side effects. Furthermore, a potential exists for PUM to encourage more judicious APDs, which may be useful in settings with heavy patient load, limited human resources and dependence on foreign nursing staff from differing cultural backgrounds.
Cite this paper: Yap, K. , Kua, E. , Chan, S. and Lee, J. (2014) Improving the Appropriateness of Antipsychotic Prescribing for Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD): A Pilot Study of the Psychotropic Use Monitoring (PUM) Program. Open Journal of Psychiatry, 4, 153-162. doi: 10.4236/ojpsych.2014.42020.

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