The impact of facility characteristics on the use of antipsychotic medications in nursing homes: A cross-sectional study

Dvora Frankenthal*, Gisele Zandman-Goddard, Yael Ben-Muvhar, Bat Sheva Porat-Katz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Antipsychotic medications (APMs) are commonly prescribed in nursing homes (NHs) and their excessive use raises concerns about the quality of care. They are often seen as "chemical restraints", and were shown to increase morbidity and mortality risks in NH residents. The objective of this study was to investigate the variability in prevalence in APM use in a sample of Israeli NHs and to examine the effect of facility characteristics on the use of APMs. Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted in 2011 using data which were collected in a sample of NHs in the Tel Aviv district during the annual certification process. Prevalence of APMs was determined on the basis of all residents using antipsychotics on a regular basis. The association between facility characteristics and APM use was assessed by multivariate analysis. Results: Forty-four NHs providing care for 2372 residents were investigated. The prevalence of APM use varied between facilities from 14.8 to 70.6%, with an overall prevalence of 37.3%. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that greater use of APMs was associated with for-profit facilities, facilities in which most of the residents were self-pay, the presence of a "mentally frail" unit, a medical director non-specialized in geriatrics, shortage of social workers and occupational therapists, presence of unsafe/non-fitting equipment or self-aids (e.g., unsafe bath/toilet seats, unsuitable height of tables) and shortage of recreational activities. Conclusions: A wide variation in APM use was recorded in NHs in the Tel Aviv district. This variation was associated with facility characteristics that undermine quality of care. Application of APM use as a measure of quality in NHs and publicizing their utilization may decrease their overall use.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12
JournalIsrael Journal of Health Policy Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 16 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Antipsychotic medications
  • Elderly
  • Facility characteristics
  • Geriatrics
  • Israel
  • Nursing homes


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