CANADIANS IN LONG TERM THREE TIMES AS LIKELY TO BE ON ANTI-DEPRESSANTS: CIHI RESEARCH

Oct 20, 2022

By Jane Brown

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It seems it is not uncommon for Canadians living in long term care homes to be prescribed anti-depressants.

New research from the Canadian Institute for Health Information says Canadians 65 and older living in nursing homes have been three times more likely to be prescribed antidepressants than those living in the community over the past five years.

CIHI researchers also found the use of antidepressants among seniors living in long-term care increased from 62 per cent of residents in 2019 to 65 per cent in 2021.

Tracey Fisher is manager of pharmaceuticals at CIHI and says people living in long term care homes are more medically vulnerable than people of the same age living in the community.

“We know that seniors living in long term care are more frail, they’re more medically complex, and also through the pandemic years we know they were disproportionately affected by COVID-19,” Fisher explains.

Fisher says the researchers analyzed publicly available data on drug prescriptions’ claims to public drugs programs in all provinces and Yukon.

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