Talking about Benzodiazepine Use with Patients

Research Paper Title

Let’s Talk About Benzodiazepine Use: Inpatient Psychiatric Nurses Initiating the Conversation.

Background

Inpatient psychiatric nurses regularly dispense pro re nata (PRN) medication to individuals during their psychiatric hospitalisation.

International studies indicate that 66% to 90% of patients receive PRN medications during hospitalisation, a large percentage of which are benzodiazepines (BZDs).

Although clear opportunities exist for nursing intervention to reduce BZD use, there is little recent US literature on inpatient psychiatric nurses’ proactive approach to the issue.

The current article examines the factors that support BZD use during inpatient hospitalisation, including nurses’ attitudes around BZD use, the perceived effectiveness of the medication to address difficult situations, and the barriers to using alternative nonpharmacological methods.

Suggestions are presented for how nurses might begin dialogues with patients around BZD use and alternative strategies to manage distress.

It is recommended that the specialty initiate a research agenda for reducing BZD use during inpatient psychiatric treatment and champion the issue as a focus for systematic improvement efforts.

Reference

Delaney, K.R. (2020) Let’s Talk About Benzodiazepine Use: Inpatient Psychiatric Nurses Initiating the Conversation.

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