Medication use among Australian adults with intellectual disability in primary healthcare settings: A cross-sectional study

Tan Nhut Doan, Nicholas Lennox, Miriam Taylor, Robert Ware

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59 Citations (Scopus)


Background There is concern about widespread medication use by people with intellectual disability (ID), especially psychotropic and anticonvulsant agents. However, there is sparse information on prescribing patterns in Australia. Method This cross-sectional study was conducted between 2000 and 2002 among adults with ID who live in the community in Brisbane, Australia. Medication data were extracted from a health screening tool. Demographic and medical data were collected from telephone interviews and medical records. Results Of 117 participants, 35 were prescribed psychotropic medications, most commonly antipsychotics, and 26 anticonvulsants. Complementary medications (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fish oil, and herbal products) were used by 29 of participants. After adjusting for potentially confounding variables, psychotropic medication use was significantly associated with having a psychiatric illness (adjusted odds ratio = 4.6, 95 CI [1.0, 20.6]) and challenging behaviours (4.4, [1.1, 17.3]). Conclusions People with ID use a broad range of medications. Psychotropic medications continue to be the most predominant agents prescribed for this population. Psychotropic medication use is positively associated with having a psychiatric illness and challenging behaviours.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177 - 181
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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