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Prescribing Patterns in a Hong Kong Institution for Adults with Severe to Profound Learning Disabilities

Prescribing Patterns in a Hong Kong Institution for Adults with Severe to Profound Learning... There has been increasing concern about inappropriate or excessive medication of people with learning disabilities. Audits of prescribing practice may guide clinicians towards a more rational use of psychotropic drugs. Most previous studies have come from North America or Europe. This paper reports on a survey of prescribing patterns in an institution that cares for adults with severe to profound learning disabilities in Hong Kong. The survey found that 27% of the 294 hospital patients were receiving psychotropic drugs, but this rate was significantly higher (90%) in the ward for people with challenging behaviours. Most patients (67%) received a single psychotropic drug, 26% received two and 7%, three. Around half the patients (151) had epilepsy, of whom 90% received anticonvulsants. Of these, 52% received a single anticonvulsant, 37% received two and 11% received three or more. Dosages were generally within the recommended ranges. This survey revealed several good aspects of prescribing practice at Siu Lam Hospital, but also areas that need improvement. The latter include a drug‐reduction programme for the people with challenging behaviours, trials of drug‐free periods for seizure‐free patients receiving anticonvulsants and replacement of phenytoin and phenobarbitone with safer alternatives. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Tizard Learning Disability Review Emerald Publishing

Prescribing Patterns in a Hong Kong Institution for Adults with Severe to Profound Learning Disabilities

Tizard Learning Disability Review , Volume 10 (4): 7 – Oct 1, 2005

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1359-5474
DOI
10.1108/13595474200500002
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

There has been increasing concern about inappropriate or excessive medication of people with learning disabilities. Audits of prescribing practice may guide clinicians towards a more rational use of psychotropic drugs. Most previous studies have come from North America or Europe. This paper reports on a survey of prescribing patterns in an institution that cares for adults with severe to profound learning disabilities in Hong Kong. The survey found that 27% of the 294 hospital patients were receiving psychotropic drugs, but this rate was significantly higher (90%) in the ward for people with challenging behaviours. Most patients (67%) received a single psychotropic drug, 26% received two and 7%, three. Around half the patients (151) had epilepsy, of whom 90% received anticonvulsants. Of these, 52% received a single anticonvulsant, 37% received two and 11% received three or more. Dosages were generally within the recommended ranges. This survey revealed several good aspects of prescribing practice at Siu Lam Hospital, but also areas that need improvement. The latter include a drug‐reduction programme for the people with challenging behaviours, trials of drug‐free periods for seizure‐free patients receiving anticonvulsants and replacement of phenytoin and phenobarbitone with safer alternatives.

Journal

Tizard Learning Disability ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 1, 2005

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