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Half of US patients with advanced dementia are prescribed drugs of questionable benefit, study finds

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g5544 (Published 10 September 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5544
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

More than half of patients with advanced dementia in US nursing homes are prescribed medicines of questionable benefit even though they have reached the end stage of the disease and have just a short time to live, a new study has found.

The article was published online on 8 September in JAMA Internal Medicine.1 Jennifer Tjia, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Massachusetts, was the paper’s lead author.

In the study, Tjia and her colleagues used data from a prescriptions database maintained by a pharmacy that serves about half of the 1.3 million residents of long term care facilities in the United States and from another database, the Minimum Data Set (MDS), which contains clinical assessments of nursing home residents in all federally funded US nursing homes. The assessments included information …

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