Nursing Home Staff Shortages Tied to More Inappropriate Antipsychotic Use

More inappropriate use seen particularly for nursing homes in severely deprived neighborhoods
Nursing Home Staff Shortages Tied to More Inappropriate Antipsychotic Use
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Medically Reviewed By:
Meeta Shah, M.D.

FRIDAY, April 26, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Nursing homes with staffing shortages have higher inappropriate antipsychotic medication use, particularly among nursing homes in severely deprived neighborhoods, according to a study published online April 24 in JAMA Network Open.

Jasmine L. Travers, Ph.D., R.N., from New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing in New York City, and colleagues evaluated whether reported inappropriate antipsychotic medication use in nursing homes differs in severely and less severely deprived neighborhoods and whether these differences are impacted by levels of total nurse staffing. The analysis included a national sample of nursing homes linked across three large datasets for 2019.

The researchers identified 10,966 nursing homes, including 17.0 percent in severely deprived neighborhoods. In an unadjusted analysis, inappropriate antipsychotic medication use was greater in nursing homes located in severely deprived neighborhoods (mean, 15.9 percent of residents) compared with those in less deprived neighborhoods (mean, 14.2 percent of residents). A similar pattern was seen in adjusted models, with inappropriate antipsychotic medication use higher in severely deprived neighborhoods versus less deprived neighborhoods (19.2 versus 17.1 percent; adjusted mean difference, 2.0 percentage points) in nursing homes that fell below critical levels of staffing (less than three hours of nurse staffing per resident-day).

"These findings suggest that addressing staffing deficiencies in nursing homes, particularly those located in severely deprived neighborhoods, is crucial in mitigating inappropriate antipsychotic medication use," the authors write.

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