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Knowledge of and Perceived Need for Evidence-Based Education About Antipsychotic Medications Among Nursing Home Leadership and Staff

Journal Article
April 1, 2013

This study presents findings from a survey of more than 900 Connecticut nursing home workers — including more than 400 certified nursing assistants (CNAs) — about their perceptions of anti-psychotic medications. Despite ample evidence suggesting widespread risk of such medications, only 4% of CNAs were aware of such risks. The authors note that CNAs commonly lack any “training or knowledge regarding non-pharmacological approaches for managing challenging behaviors and may believe that medication is the only treatment choice.”

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Key Takeaways

Antipsychotic use is common in nursing homes, despite evidence of harm and limited efficacy with dementia.
Despite evidence, 56% of staff believe medication work well and 37% could manage difficult residents without them.
The findings suggest that education on this issue is sorely needed among all levels of nursing home staff.

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