eCite Digital Repository

Clinical outcomes of reducing the use of sedatives in residents of aged care facilities


Hoyle, D and Westbury, JL and Bindoff, IK and Peterson, GM, Clinical outcomes of reducing the use of sedatives in residents of aged care facilities, Tasmanian Health Science HDR Student Conference, 2014, Hobart, Tasmania (2014) [Conference Extract]

Pending copyright assessment - Request a copy


For over 30 years, research has consistently shown that there is excessive usage of sedatives (predominantly antipsychotic and benzodiazepine medication) in many residential aged care facilities (RACFs). These agents only offer modest clinical benefits, yet can be associated with severe adverse effects.

Currently, the "Reducing the Use of Sedatives" (RedUSe) project is being expanded nationally to improve the use of these medications in RACFs. Additionally, clinical and economic research components will measure the impact that reducing sedative medication has on residents, RACF professional staff and government costs.

This abstract describes the rationale for including a clinical research component in the expansion of this project.

Sedative medications are commonly prescribed for behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). Considering that BPSD can cause distress and interruptions to work, RACF staff are often reluctant to reduce sedative use, fearing symptom recurrence. Research into the effect that sedative reduction has on BPSD is inconsistent. Thus, future investigations need to reliably assess the incidence and severity of BPSD upon sedative reduction and determine risk-factors for BPSD relapse.

Fall-related injuries are associated with significant cost, morbidity and mortality. Although sedative use has been highlighted as a risk factor for falls, conflicting research has made it unclear whether sedative reduction diminishes the rates of falls.

Potential deterioration in quality of life (QoL) is perhaps the most common barrier to sedative reduction among doctors and nursing staff. However, research has failed to identify significant changes in QoL upon sedative reduction. Further investigation may help to dispel fears of nursing staff and doctors.

It has been suggested sedative reduction has the potential to improve social engagement. However, limitations in methodology have prevented the discovery of a causal relationship without further research.

The clinical outcomes of the RedUSe project will be reported following the completion of this investigation.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:Sedatives; Reduction; Outcomes; Behaviour; Quality of life
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences
Research Field:Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Health related to ageing
UTAS Author:Hoyle, D (Dr Daniel Hoyle)
UTAS Author:Westbury, JL (Associate Professor Juanita Breen)
UTAS Author:Bindoff, IK (Dr Ivan Bindoff)
UTAS Author:Peterson, GM (Professor Gregory Peterson)
ID Code:105355
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:Pharmacy
Deposited On:2015-12-21
Last Modified:2015-12-22

Repository Staff Only: item control page