Background: Aggression, agitation, psychosis, and sleep disturbances are common behavioral symptoms of people with dementia and they can be distressing for both individuals and their carers. Due to their potential side effects, antipsychotic medications are recommended only for severe behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). This study explores the prevalence, patterns, and associated factors with antipsychotic drug use among patients with dementia attending geriatric psychiatry services at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital (SQUH). Using a retrospective cross-sectional design, this study examines antipsychotic use among elderly patients aged 60 years or older with dementia who attended geriatric psychiatry services from January 2020 to December 2021. The following information was solicited: socio-demographic factors, type and severity of dementia, presence of co-morbid medical or mental illness, the psychotropic medications prescribed, the anti-psychotic medication use, duration of use, and the indication of use were solicited as well. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted. Results: The total prevalence of anti-psychotic use among elderly patients with dementia was 56.6%, and among them, 59% were prescribed anti-psychotics for more than 2 years. Being female, having non-Alzheimer’s dementia, experiencing severe stages of dementia, and having other medical or mental co-morbid conditions were independent predictors of antipsychotic drug use (odds ratio [OR] =1.85, confidence interval [CI] =1.04–3.30; OR=2.77, C.I. 1.52–5.04; OR=4.47, C.I. 2.18–9.18; and OR=2.54, C.I. 1.11–5.78, respectively). Conclusions: Antipsychotic medication use is prevalent among elderly patients with dementia in Oman. The results from this study will help the policymakers and psychiatrists in Oman to plan for the use of non-pharmacological strategies as the first line of management for BPSD.
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