Frailty Status and Cognitive Function Should Guide Prescribing in Long-term Care Facilities.

The Senior Care Pharmacist
Shin J Liau, J Simon Bell


Frailty, dementia and complex multimorbidity are highly prevalent among residents of long-term care facilities (LTCFs). Prescribing for residents of LTCFs is often informed by disease-specific clinical practice guidelines based on research conducted among younger and more robust adults. However, frailty and cognitive impairment may modify medication benefits and risks. Residents with frailty and advanced dementia may be at increased susceptibility to adverse drug events (ADEs) and often have a lower likelihood of achieving long-term therapeutic benefit from chronic preventative medications. For this reason, there is a strong rationale for deprescribing, particularlyamong residents with high medication burdens, swallowing difficulties or limited dexterity. Conversely, frailty and dementia have also been associated with under-prescribing of clinically indicated medications. Unnecessarily withholding treatment based on assumed risk may deprive vulnerable population groups from receiving evidence-based care. There is a need for specific evidence regarding medication benefits and risks in LTCF residents with frailty and dementia. Observational studies conducted using routinely collected health data may complement evidence from rando...Continue Reading


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