Objective: Depressive symptoms are highly prevalent in residential aged care facilities (RACFs). The prevalence of antidepressant use is increasing but the effectiveness of antidepressants in people with dementia is uncertain. The objective of the study was to investigate factors associated with antidepressant use in residents with and without dementia. Methods: This was a prospective cross-sectional study of 383 residents in six Australian RACFs. Data on health status, medications and demographics were collected by trained study nurses from April to August 2014. Logistic regression was used to compute adjusted odds ratios (AORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for factors associated with antidepressant use. Analyses were stratified by dementia and depression. Results: Overall, 183 (47.8%) residents used antidepressants. The prevalence of antidepressant use was similar among residents with and without dementia. Clinician-observed pain was inversely associated with antidepressant use in the main analysis (AOR = 0.56, 95% CI = 0.32–0.99) and in subanalyses for residents with documented depression (AOR = 0.51, 95% CI = 0.27–0.96). In residents with dementia, moderate quality of life was associated with a lower odds of antidepressant use compared with poor quality of life (AOR = 0.35, 95% C I= 0.13–0.95). In residents without dementia, analgesic use was associated with antidepressant use (AOR = 2.34, 95% CI = 1.07–5.18). Conclusions: The prevalence of antidepressant use was similar in residents with and without dementia. Clinician-observed pain was inversely associated with antidepressant use but there was no association between self-reported pain and antidepressant use.
- homes for the aged