Swansea University academics are calling for policy makers, regulators and healthcare professionals to adopt a structured medicine monitoring system after research showed a positive impact on the care of people living in care homes and taking mental health medicines.
In a new study involving ten care homes, nursing care was changed for 27 of 30 residents and medication for 17 patients following review.
Other key findings were that nurses using ADRe found:
- Antipsychotic medicines were reduced
- Eight of 30 residents were identified as being in pain, leading to a review of painkiller use
- Six of 30 residents were short of breath and were referred for medication review
- Care plans were changed for five of nine residents that had suffered falls
- Residents were ‘brighter’ or less agitated or less aggressive when care changed to reduce antipsychotic medicines.
Professor Sue Jordan said: “Our study shows how simply checking patients for the signs and symptoms of possible adverse drug reactions improves the lives of the most vulnerable in society. It also shows that bringing patients’ perspectives into medicines optimisation is complex, and the very complexity means that professionals may shy away from this potentially difficult task.
Swansea University has developed a nurse-led medicines’ monitoring system known as the Adverse Drug Reaction (ADRe) Profile which identifies and addresses the adverse effects that mental health medicines can have on patients. Timothy Banner, study pharmacist, said: “ADRe is needed to meet the recommendations of Welsh Government for medicines optimisation Use of Antipsychotic medication in care homes , and these findings need to be implemented by healthcare professionals, policy makers and sector regulators to ensure patient safety and minimise any harm caused by adverse side effects.”