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A circle of silence: the attitudes of patients older than 65 years of age to ceasing long-term sleeping tablets

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Background

    Nocturnal benzodiazepines have a significant negative health impact on the elderly, yet they continue to be used.

    Objective

    The aim of this study was to assess elderly patients’ use and knowledge of nocturnal benzodiazepines, and their attitudes to cessation.

    Methods

    Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with elderly patients (n = 17) from four general practices in Australia.

    Results

    Our study found that the initiation of benzodiazepine use was often at a time of stress for the patient. Long-term use was not in-tended, and patients conveyed poor awareness of the side effects and addictive potential of benzodiazepines. Patients’ perceived attitudes of their general practitioner (GP) to prescribing benzodiazepines and lack of awareness of alternative therapies were key to continuation. Confounding factors such as pain often contributed to sleep disturbance. Many patients expressed a willingness to cease nocturnal benzodiazepine use.

    Discussion

    These data assist in raising GPs’ awareness of patients’ attitudes to cessation of nocturnal benzodiazepine use. More time spent with patients presenting for repeat prescriptions, explaining side effects, discussing alternative options and investigating reasons for not sleeping could reduce benzodiazepine use among the elderly.

Publication Date


  • 2016

Citation


  • Williams, F., Mahfouz, C., Bonney, A., Pearson, R., Seidel, B., Dijkmans-Hadley, B. & Ivers, R. (2016). A circle of silence: the attitudes of patients older than 65 years of age to ceasing long-term sleeping tablets. Sports Medicine, 45 (7), 506-511.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84983546292

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/3895

Number Of Pages


  • 5

Start Page


  • 506

End Page


  • 511

Volume


  • 45

Issue


  • 7

Place Of Publication


  • New Zealand

Abstract


  • Background

    Nocturnal benzodiazepines have a significant negative health impact on the elderly, yet they continue to be used.

    Objective

    The aim of this study was to assess elderly patients’ use and knowledge of nocturnal benzodiazepines, and their attitudes to cessation.

    Methods

    Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with elderly patients (n = 17) from four general practices in Australia.

    Results

    Our study found that the initiation of benzodiazepine use was often at a time of stress for the patient. Long-term use was not in-tended, and patients conveyed poor awareness of the side effects and addictive potential of benzodiazepines. Patients’ perceived attitudes of their general practitioner (GP) to prescribing benzodiazepines and lack of awareness of alternative therapies were key to continuation. Confounding factors such as pain often contributed to sleep disturbance. Many patients expressed a willingness to cease nocturnal benzodiazepine use.

    Discussion

    These data assist in raising GPs’ awareness of patients’ attitudes to cessation of nocturnal benzodiazepine use. More time spent with patients presenting for repeat prescriptions, explaining side effects, discussing alternative options and investigating reasons for not sleeping could reduce benzodiazepine use among the elderly.

Publication Date


  • 2016

Citation


  • Williams, F., Mahfouz, C., Bonney, A., Pearson, R., Seidel, B., Dijkmans-Hadley, B. & Ivers, R. (2016). A circle of silence: the attitudes of patients older than 65 years of age to ceasing long-term sleeping tablets. Sports Medicine, 45 (7), 506-511.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84983546292

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/3895

Number Of Pages


  • 5

Start Page


  • 506

End Page


  • 511

Volume


  • 45

Issue


  • 7

Place Of Publication


  • New Zealand