Benzodiazepine & Prescribing Behaviour

Research Paper Title

An Intervention to Decrease Benzodiazepine Prescribing by Providers in an Urban Clinic.

Background

The objective of this quality improvement project was to decrease the amount of benzodiazepines (BZDs) prescribed by providers at a Midwestern university outpatient clinic.

Methods

Clinic providers participated in a brief, live educational intervention combining academic detailing (i.e., the provision of current evidence about BZD) and pharmaceutical detailing (i.e., a sales technique borrowed from pharmaceutical companies).

A 1% decrease in BZD prescribing was set as the measure of success.

Using data from the electronic medical record, the monthly average of BZD prescriptions written within calendar year 2017 (before project launch) was compared to the number written 30 days after the intervention.

Results

Following the intervention, an 80% reduction in BZD prescribing was calculated.

Conclusions

Combined academic and pharmaceutical detailing could be an effective way to change prescribing behaviour in this provider population.

Further investigation is needed to ascertain whether the change in prescribing behaviour can be sustained, and that no harm is being done to patients who are currently dependent on BZD medications.

Reference

Platt, L., Savage, T.A. & Rajagopal, N. (2020) An Intervention to Decrease Benzodiazepine Prescribing by Providers in an Urban Clinic. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services. 58(1), pp.39-45. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20191218-08.

Benzodiazepines & Older Adults

Research Paper Title

Little Helpers No More: A Framework for Collaborative Deprescribing of Benzodiazepines in Older Adults.

Abstract

Benzodiazepines are a class of medications that tend to fly “under the radar” within the general population but nonetheless post a significant risk to older adults when not used appropriately.

The current article aims to shine a spotlight on this medication class along with a framework for a team-based approach to successfully de-escalate use when clinically appropriate.

Reference

Suss, T. & Oldani, M. (2020) Little Helpers No More: A Framework for Collaborative Deprescribing of Benzodiazepines in Older Adults. Journal of Pyschosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services. 58(1), pp.23-28. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20191218-05.

A Provider’s Experience of Making Alliances With Patients Dependent on Benzodiazepines

Research Paper Title

Making Alliances With Patients Dependent on Benzodiazepines: A Provider’s Experience.

Background

Tens of millions of benzodiazepine (BZD) prescriptions are written annually for the outpatient management of anxiety disorders and insomnia.

Many prescribers do not follow published treatment guidelines for these disorders. Psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs) regularly meet patients who have been treated with BZDs for years.

The dangers posed by outpatient BZD use are recognised, especially among older adults, and their use should be minimised or eliminated.

There are multiple manualised approaches to outpatient down-titration of BZDs, but little evidence about which methods really work.

To effect change, it is essential that PMHNPs establish a sound therapeutic alliance with these patients, especially by using their skills in therapeutic communication.

One major conflict that may occur early in the relationship is the patient’s expectation that the BZD medication regimen will continue indefinitely and their unwillingness to risk discontinuing the drug.

This conflict commonly raises non-adherence to a down-titration plan or patient termination of the relationship.

It is essential that PMHNPs take the time and patience to build strong therapeutic alliances with patients to design and implement a successful BZD discontinuation regimen.

Reference

Amberg, A. (2020) Making Alliances With Patients Dependent on Benzodiazepines: A Provider’s Experience. Journal of Pyschosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services. 58(1), pp.29-32. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20191218-06.

Benzodiazepine Use during Hospitalisation

Research Paper Title

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

Abstract

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. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services. 58(1), pp.33-38. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20191218-07.

A Study into an Intervention to Decrease Benzodiazepine Prescribing by Providers in an Urban Clinic

Research Paper Title

An Intervention to Decrease Benzodiazepine Prescribing by Providers in an Urban Clinic.

Background

The objective of this quality improvement project was to decrease the amount of benzodiazepines (BZDs) prescribed by providers at a Midwestern university outpatient clinic.

Methods

Clinic providers participated in a brief, live educational intervention combining academic detailing (i.e., the provision of current evidence about BZD) and pharmaceutical detailing (i.e., a sales technique borrowed from pharmaceutical companies).

A 1% decrease in BZD prescribing was set as the measure of success.

Using data from the electronic medical record, the monthly average of BZD prescriptions written within calendar year 2017 (before project launch) was compared to the number written 30 days after the intervention.

Results

Following the intervention, an 80% reduction in BZD prescribing was calculated.

Conclusions

Combined academic and pharmaceutical detailing could be an effective way to change prescribing behaviour in this provider population.

Further investigation is needed to ascertain whether the change in prescribing behaviour can be sustained, and that no harm is being done to patients who are currently dependent on BZD medications.

Reference

Platt, L., Savage, T.A. & Rajagopal, N. (2020) An Intervention to Decrease Benzodiazepine Prescribing by Providers in an Urban Clinic. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services. 58(1):39-45. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20191218-08.