09. tbl. 99.árg. 2013

Medication use in nursing homes in Iceland 2002-2004. A descriptive study

Lyfjanotkun á hjúkrunarheimilum á Íslandi árin 2002-2004

Purpose: To describe medication use in nursing homes in Iceland during the years 2002-2004.

Methods: In nursing homes using automated medication delivery, the number of medications used were calculated, from the beginning of 2002 to the end of 2004. Information was obtained from 10 nursing homes; a total of 1409 individuals or approximately 60% of the inhabitants of all nursing homes in Iceland. 65% of the population were women, mean age was 83 years and 43% died during the study periond. The total number of prescribed medications was collected as well as their use for common chronic conditions and symptoms was analysed.

Result: There were on average 8.9 (±4,0) medications used at the beginning of the study period, increasing to 9.9 (±4,3) by its end. On average, women got one more medication than men (p<0,001). 56.2% of women and 47% of men received >10 kinds of medication by the end of the study. Women got more psychiatric medications than men, but men got more medications for cardiovascular diseases. 82% of the population used psychiatric medications regularly, 65% used sedatives/hypnotics, 50% antidepressants and 20 % antipsychotics. Approximately additional 15% used psychiatric medication temporarily over the study period. The majority of medications were used constantly during the study period, especially cardiovascular medications. Medication for urinary incontinence, non steroidal antiinflammatory medications, medications for osteoporosis and medications against Alzheimers disease were used more often temporarily than constantly. Medications that were in constant use by >40% of the population were sedative/hypnotics, antidepressants, paracetamol, diuretics and vitamin D.

Conclusion: There is a high number of medications used in nursing homes in Iceland. Most medications were already in use at the start of the study and continued throughout the study period indicating that medication review might be lacking. There are no indications of under-treated of pain or depression. Vitamin D is frequently used but should be used more often not least among men.

Key words: nursing home, medication, polypharmacy, elderly.

See here: Figure 1

See here: Table I and table II

See here: Table III (a, b, c)

Correspondence: Helga Hansdóttir, helgah@landspitali.is

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