Antipsychotic Drug Use in Canadian LTCFs: interRAI Fellows Contribute to Study

interRAI Fellows Drs. John Hirdes, George Heckman, and Luke Turcotte contributed to a Canadian study on the use of antipsychotic drugs in long-term care facilities across Canada before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The study found a significant increase in the use of antipsychotic drugs in LTCFs during the pandemic, despite the absence of a corresponding increase in psychotic behavior at those facilities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic brought immense challenges to long-term care homes, resulting in higher mortality rates,” said Dr. John Hirdes, a researcher in the University of Waterloo School of Public Health Sciences. “Our study focused on other aspects of care quality during the pandemic, revealing only modest changes overall with the exception of increases in problematic antipsychotic use.”

“These data emphasize the importance of the effort put forth by long-term care teams – nurses, personal support workers and others – to maintain care quality during unprecedented times,” said co-author Dr. George Heckman, also in the School of Public Health Sciences, and Schlegel Research Chair in Geriatric Medicine.

Click here to learn more about the study and its findings.