Prevalence and factors associated with the use of benzodiazepines in elderly in a specialized ambulatory in Porto Alegre, Brazil
Aims: to verify the prevalence of BZDs use in the elderly population treated at an outpatient clinic for geriatric psychiatry at a university hospital in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Methods: cross-sectional study carried out at the geriatric psychiatric outpatient clinic. Data collection occurred during the first consultation of individuals aged 60 years or over. The evaluated data comprise sociodemographic, clinical, health and medication use issues. For statistical analysis the SPSS program (in English, Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) was used.
Results: a total of 295 elderly people were included in the study. The average age was 72.1 ± 8.3 years, mostly women (76.6%), with schooling from 5 to 8 and 9 to 12 years of study (both with the same frequency, 28.9%), married (45.0%), living with a family member (34.4%), retired (79.8%). The prevalence of BZDs use was 33.6% (n = 99). The main complaint of anxiety and the diagnosis of anxiety disorders were associated with the use of BZDs.
Conclusions: the prevalence of the use of BZDs was high and associated with the main complaint of anxiety and the diagnoses of anxiety and depressive disorders, even though these are considered potentially inappropriate medications and with a high risk of complications. The treatment of the geriatric population is often placed in the background, not properly receiving care directed to the specific demands that these individuals need. The epidemiological knowledge of the elderly population exposes characteristics and assists in the development of a differentiated therapeutic plan.
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