Halting Antipsychotic use in Long Term care


The potential over-prescription of antipsychotic medication to people with dementia living in residential care is the focus of new research led by the Dementia Collaborative Research Centres – Assessment and Better Care.  “Halting Antipsychotic use in Long Term Care” (HALT), is a collaborative project funded by the Federal Government under the Aged Care Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grants Fund.

The aged care sector faces workforce shrotages, with facilities struggling to implement individualised approaches for dealing with challenging beahviours - this may result in overuse of antipsychotic medications for managing behavioural and psychological symtpoms of dementia (BPSD).

 Where approriate, the HALT study proposes a model for deprescribing antipsychotics in residential care through person-centred approaches to managing challenging behaviours. A targeted, evidence-based training package has been developed to up-skill general practitioners and nursing home staff in behaviour management, as well as the quality use of medicines.

As a collaborative project on a complex topic, the HALT team is working with a wide range of stakeholders, including:

picture - the HALT team at DCRC-ABC (L-R):
Tiffany Jessop - Project Coordinator
Fleur Harrison - Research Psychologist
Allan Shell - Academic GP
Monica Cations - Research Psychologist
Linda Nattrass - Administrative Assistant





Outcomes of interest will include reducing inappropriate antipsychotic use in nursing home residents, and the behavioural consequences of deprescribing. In particular, HALT is exploreing the effect of the training package on reducing adverse events associated with potential medication over-use  -  such as cognitive decline, falls, parkinsonism, hospitalisations, stroke and death. The results will be used to support the development of a nationally applicable and sustainable approach to the care of people with challenging behaviours in long-term care facilities.



The HALT project is timely with respect to the release of the following reports:


Click here for more information about the HALT project


March 2014 - Issue contents

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