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Optimising psychotropic medication use

Sheehan, R; (2018) Optimising psychotropic medication use. Tizard Learning Disability Review , 23 (1) pp. 22-26. 10.1108/TLDR-07-2017-0031. Green open access

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Abstract

Purpose: This commentary accompanies Clare et al.’s study investigating psychotropic drug prescribing for adults with intellectual disability who were referred to specialist community learning disability teams in the east of England. The purpose of this paper is to explore some of the background to psychotropic drug prescribing for people with intellectual disability, review important contextual factors that influence prescribing decisions, and consider how we might make the best use of psychotropic drugs in this group. Design/methodology/approach: Narrative summary and opinion, supported by reference to recent research literature. Findings: Psychotropic drug use for people with intellectual disability raises complex issues, not least because of the lack of research evidence that exists on the topic. Psychotropic drugs can be an important part of treatment for people with mental illness but further research is needed to support prescribing for challenging behaviour. Medication optimisation is a framework within which individual preferences and values are considered alongside the evidence base and clinical judgement in order to inform safe, effective, and collaborative management decisions. Practical implications Prescribing decisions should be individualised and reviewed regularly, incorporating evidence from patients and carers. Improving the use of psychotropic medication requires concerted action, adequate social support, and the provision of alternative, non-pharmacological interventions that are acceptable and effective. Originality/value: This paper reviews some of the current concerns about the use of psychotropic drugs and opens up new avenues of discussion.

Type: Article
Title: Optimising psychotropic medication use
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1108/TLDR-07-2017-0031
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1108/TLDR-07-2017-0031
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Challenging behaviour, Interventions, Mental health problems, Psychotropic medication, Intellectual disability, Medication optimization
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10027063
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