Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

First Advisor

Susan H. Lane

Abstract

Falls in the geriatric population are extremely common and the risk for falls continues to increase with age. Falls are a leading cause of mortality in the geriatric population, and it is the number one reason for institutionalization in the United States. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship of the prescribing effects of psychotropic medications such as antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and antipsychotics on falls in the geriatric population who live in a long term care community with a diagnosis of depression, dementia, anxiety, delirium, and Alzheimer's disease. The literature provided mixed conclusions on the effects of psychotropic medications in the geriatric population who live in long term care communities. The study performed was a retrospective chart analysis with 106 participants ranging in age from 65 years to 104 years, who were prescribed an antidepressant, antipsychotic or a benzodiazepine. The data was collected from July 2012 to April 2013. The study showed there were several significant correlations between different variables. There are many variables that contribute to falls in older adults that showed significance in the study. From this study, the nursing profession can gain a greater understanding of psychotropic drugs and how it impacts the geriatric patients they provide care. Keywords: falls in the geriatric population, falls and antipsychotic use, prevention of falls in the elderly, falls in the nursing home setting, falls in long term care, Beers Criteria