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Potentially inappropriate use of antipsychotics in community-dwelling adults with dementia more common in those with low income

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Question: Does both essential and potentially inappropriate use of antipsychotics vary across income groups?

Population: Essential antipsychotic use was assessed in 11 417 adults (aged 19–64 years, 60% men, 84% urban) with a diagnosis of schizophrenia (international classification of diseases (ICD-9), ICD-10; 27% hospitalised for schizophrenia). Potentially inappropriate use of antipsychotics was assessed in 33 633 older adults (aged 65 years and older, 60% women; 23% in long-term care facilities) with dementia (DSM-IV) and no diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. People living in British Columbia (BC) for less than 9 months were excluded, as were people with incomplete data, or living in areas with a high proportion of non-fee for service claims.

Setting: British Columbia, Canada; 2004–2005.

Assessment: Physician and hospital diagnostic records were searched for people with diagnoses of schizophrenia and dementia in 2004 or 2005. Hospitalisation for schizophrenia was taken as a crude measure of severity. Data on filled prescriptions for antipsychotics in 2005 were obtained from the PharmaNet database of prescriptions filled in community pharmacies in BC. For …

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  • Sources of funding: BCMOHS, Canadian Health Services Research Foundation; Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, Canadian Institutes of Health Research.


  • Competing interests None.

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