Quality indicators of psychotropic prescribing to people with dementia in aged psychiatry inpatient units

Daniel W. O'Connor, Craig D'Cunha, Tanya Clifton, David Huppert, Helen Lowy, Stephen Macfarlane, Francine Moss, Christos Plakiotis, Dhiren Singh, Maria Tsanglis, Jodie Ten Hoeve, Erica A White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To develop indicators of safe psychotropic prescribing practices for people with dementia and to test them in a convenience sample of six aged mental health services in Victoria, Australia. Method: The clinical records of 115 acute inpatients were checked by four trained auditors against indicators derived from three Australian health care quality and safety standards or guidelines. Indicators addressed psychotropic medication history taking; the prescribing of regular and ‘as needed’ psychotropics; the documentation of psychotropic adverse reactions, and discharge medication plans. Results: The most problematic areas concerned the gathering of information about patients’ psychotropic prescribing histories at the point of entry to the ward and, later, the handing over on discharge of information concerning newly prescribed treatments and the reasons for ceasing medications, including adverse reactions. There were wide variations between services. Conclusion: The indicators, while drawn from current Australian guidelines, were entirely consistent with current prescribing frameworks and provide useful measures of prescribing practice for use in benchmarking and other quality improvement activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1432-1437
Number of pages6
JournalAging & Mental Health
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Dementia
  • prescribing
  • psychotropic
  • quality indicators

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