University Begins Research on Use of Antipsychotic Drugs in Assisted Living
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been awarded a $3.4 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to study the use of antipsychotic drugs on assisted living residents.
Sheryl Zimmerman, principal investigator for the project, told the News-Observer that a recent first-time study of residential care found that as many as 70 percent of residents in assisted living have cognitive impairment – and nearly 70 percent of assisted living communities prescribe antipsychotic drugs to alter resident behavior.
The five-year grant will enable investigators to study 280 assisted living communities with 12,000 residents in seven states. Areas of investigation include identifying reasons that centers use antipsychotic drugs and exploring other means such as calming environments.