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There is widespread concern in Australia and internationally at the high prevalence of psychotropic medication use in residential aged care facilities. It is difficult for nurses and general practitioners in aged care facilities to cease new residents’ psychotropic medications when they often have no information about why residents were started on the treatment, when and by whom and with what result. Most existing interventions have had a limited and temporary effect and there is a need to test different strategies to overcome the structural and practical barriers to psychotropic medication cessation or deprescribing. In this chapter, we review the literature regarding psychotropic medication deprescribing in aged care facilities and present the protocol of a novel study that will examine the potential role of family members in facilitating deprescribing. This project will help determine if family members can contribute information that will prove useful to clinicians and thereby overcome one of the barriers to deprescribing medications whose harmful effects often outweigh their benefits. We wish to understand the knowledge and attitudes of family members regarding the prescribing and deprescribing of psychotropic medications to newly admitted residents of aged care facilities with a view to developing and testing a range of clinical interventions that will result in better, safer prescribing practices.


Institute for Health and Ageing

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Book Chapter

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