Use of Central Nervous System (CNS) Medicines in Aged Care Homes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Syed Shahzad Hasan, Syed Tabish Razi Zaidi, Jorabar Nirwan, Muhammad Usman Ghori, Farideh Javid, Keivan Ahmadi, Zaheer-Ud-Din Babar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Both old age and institutionalization in aged care homes come with a significant risk of developing several long-term mental and neurological disorders, but there has been no definitive meta-analysis of data from studies to determine the pooled estimate of central nervous system (CNS) medicines use in aged care homes. We conducted this systematic review to summarize the use of
CNS drugs among aged care home residents. Methods: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Scopus, and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (IPA) databases were searched (between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2018) to identify population-based studies that reported the use of CNS medicines in aged care homes. Pooled proportions (with 95% confidence interval), according to study location were calculated. Results: A total of 89 studies reported the use of CNS medicines use in aged care. The pooled estimate of CNS drug use varied according to country (from 20.3% in Ireland to 49.0% in Belgium) and region (from 31.7% in North America to 42.5% in Scandinavia). The overall pooled
estimate of psychotropic medicines use was highest in Europe (72.2%, 95% CI, 67.1–77.1%) and lowest in the ANZ region (56.9%, 95% CI, 52.2–61.4%). The pooled estimate of benzodiazepines use varied widely, from 18.9% in North America to 44.8% in Europe. The pooled estimate of antidepressant use from 47 studies was 38.3% (95% CI 35.1% to 41.6%), with the highest proportion in North America (44.9%, 95% CI, 35.3–54.5%). Conclusion: The overall use of CNS drugs varied among countries, with studies from Australia New Zealand reporting the lowest use of CNS drugs. The criteria for prescribing CNS drugs in clinical practice should be evidence-based. The criteria should be used not to prohibit the use of the listed medications but to support the clinical judgement as well as
patient safety
Original languageEnglish
Article number1292
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number9
Early online date23 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019


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