Psychotropic Medication in Elderly Patients and Falls

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Psychotropic Medication in Elderly Patients and Falls

            There are a number of problems in the nursing profession that need to be addressed in order to improve the standards of the profession and the overall standards of patient care. The particular problem that influenced this paper is an increase in the number of falls of elderly patients due to administering psychotropic drugs.  In order to highlight this problem, an abstract review of an article that relates to this problem will be conducted. The article that was selected is titled "Psychotropic Medications and Risk for Falls Among Community-Dwelling Frail Older People: An Observational Study" (Landi et al., 2005). There are very specific submission guidelines for this journal article. The first one involves the manner with which this article needs to be cited. Stating the type of journal it is, the series which it falls under and the specific department that it deals with plus the volume number and the page number. Before the article is published, it has to be peer reviewed. This specific article was received on 1st October 2003 but was accepted in 22nd January 2004 after it was reviewed then was published on 1st May 2005.

Title of Project

The title of this project the Use of Psychotropic Medication in Elderly Patients and Falls.

Problem statement

            There has been a prevalence of injuries that are a result of patients falling while receiving treatment in the wards in public hospitals. A majority of the patients who suffer as a result of these falls are the elderly people in the society. The various factors that cause these patients to fall within the hospitals but most of these factors stem out of the interactions between extrinsic and intrinsic causes. One of the prevalent risk factors that contribute to the increase in the number of falls is the administering of psychotropic drugs to elderly patients. This interferes with the various cognitive functions of the body such as movement and balance, therefore, leading to these elderly patients to fall down.

Purpose of the project

            This project seeks to identify the relationship between psychotropic medications and the prevalence of falls among elderly patients. It is also intended to identify the various psychotropic medications that influence the prevalence of falls among elderly patients within the hospital. This project will also seek to identify the various psychotropic drugs that might reduce the prevalence of falls among the patients. Finally, this project will seek to evaluate the various cognitive and neurological functions that are involved when elderly patients are exposed to psychotropic drugs.

Research Questions

In order to effectively expound on the set objectives of the study, a number of questions have been set and they will form the building blocks of the research paper. The questions are as follows:

        i.            How do psychotropic drugs affect the prevalence of falls in elderly patients?

      ii.            What are the cognitive functions that are affected by psychotropic drugs in elderly patients?

    iii.            Which is the best way to prevent falls among the elderly patients?

    iv.            What are the neurological functions that are affected by psychotropic drugs?

      v.            What are the specific psychotropic drugs that limit or encourage falls among elderly patients?

Hypotheses

            There are various hypotheses that influence the research study that will be conducted. The first one is the fact that various psychotropic medications increase the risk of falls among the elderly patients. The second hypothesis in the study is the fact that administering of certain psychotropic drugs instead of others decreases the prevalence of falls among elderly patients.

Research Methodology

In order to undertake this research, a qualitative research method will be employed. This is the most preferred research methodology in undertaking this research due to the fact that there are set assumptions that have been laid down that seek to influence the study (Denzin & Lincoln, 1994).  This method enables a researcher to have a rough overview of the conclusion and is the best method to employ while dealing with a small sample.

This research will acquire information from a variety of sources. It will utilize both primary and secondary sources of information. The primary sources that will be used in this qualitative research include interviews, observations, sampling and interactions (Cassel & Symon, 2004). The secondary sources of information that will be employed in the research will include critical reviews of prior articles, books, reports and journals. The secondary sources of data substantiate or corroborate the information that is acquired from the primary sources.

Clinical trials will be conducted in order to order to obtain the primary sources of information. The various subjects that are to be used in the research could be picked from various sources. The subjects could be obtained from referrals from both health and non-health practitioners. The potential subjects will first be evaluated to confirm whether they fit the description of the intended subjects. Thereafter a number of procedural strategies such as obtaining consent will be conducted in order to arrive at the number of respondents that are willing to cooperate. The subjects could be grouped clustered in samples in order to investigate the preponderance of falls in elderly patients who had been exposed to psychotropic drugs. A comparative analysis could be employed and this would involve having a control test where a group of elderly patients who have not been exposed to psychotropic drugs and have been victims of falls is evaluated. A questionnaire can be administered to the various subjects to identify the neurological aspects that led to their falls. In order to avert any possible ethical and legal actions, the subjects will be required to give their express consent to the study that will be undertaken. The consent of the institution where the research will be undertaken will also be necessary and the sample questionnaire will be supplied to the management of the institution to ascertain its credibility. The subjects in the research will also be advised about the purpose of the research and their right to rescind their consent at any point of during the study.

Various variables will be measured and the findings from these evaluations will be represented in various tables. The variables that will be measured include the demographic variables of the subjects and the clinical variables that involve neurological and cognitive functions of the subjects as well as the diagnoses that were arrived at during treatment. The MDS-HC assessment form will be used to measure these variables. Before the potential subjects are involved in the study they have to undergo the Montreal Cognitive Assessment Test (MoCA) in order to cognitive functions of the patients. The tables that form the visual representation of the data that has been analyzed will contain the mean, median and mode of the different variables that will be evaluated. It will also contain the standard deviation to highlight the applicable margin of error while undertaking the study. The research will also make use of the QSR software in order to code the information that will be analyzed (Crowley, Harre & Tagg, 2002).

Results

            The findings from the research indicated that a majority of the elderly patients were female (about 70 percent) with Caucasian descent and had a mean age of 65.7 with a standard deviation of plus or minus 10.3 years. Close to 60 percent of the respondents were aged 60 years and above. The control test exuded gender parity and about 58 percent of the respondents were of Indian descent. Most of the patients depicted very critical impairments and most of their cognitive functions were not responding adequately. The MoCA score stood at a mean of 24 in the primary sample and 26 in the control test. The findings also indicated that the older patients were more susceptible to falls compared to the ones who were younger. It was also noted that other neurological factors such as dementia or depression influenced the prevalence of falls among the subjects. The patients who had a history of falling tested positive for antipsychotic drugs. High levels of benzodiazepine were found in patients who had a history of falling. The research noted that antidepressant drugs reduced the chances of the patients falling when compared to the antipsychotic drugs.

Conclusion

            The study arrived at the conclusion that some of some of the psychotropic drugs that the patients were exposed to such as benzodiazepines had the effect of escalating the number of falls among elderly patients. The hypothesis that was drawn before commencing the research study with regards to various psychotropic drugs reduces the number of falls is true since it was noted that antidepressant medication limited the number of falls among the elderly patients.der People: An Observational Study. 

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