Staffing and Antipsychotic Medication Use in Nursing Homes and Neighborhood Deprivation

Jasmine L. Travers, Erinn M. Hade, Steven Friedman, Aasha Raval, Kimberly Hadson, Jason R. Falvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Importance: Inappropriate use of antipsychotic medications in nursing homes is a growing public health concern. Residents exposed to higher levels of socioeconomic deprivation in the area around a nursing home may be currently exposed, or have a long history of exposure, to more noise pollution, higher crime rates, and have less opportunities to safely go outside the facility, which may contribute to psychological stress and increased risk of receiving antipsychotic medications inappropriately. However, it is unclear whether neighborhood deprivation is associated with use of inappropriate antipsychotic medications and whether this outcome is different by facility staffing levels. Objective: To evaluate whether reported inappropriate antipsychotic medication use differs in severely and less severely deprived neighborhoods, and whether these differences are modified by higher levels of total nurse staffing. Design, Setting, and Participants: This was a cross-sectional analysis of a national sample of nursing homes that linked across 3 national large-scale data sets for the year 2019. Analyses were conducted between April and June 2023. Exposure: Neighborhood deprivation status (severe vs less severe) and total staffing hours (registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, certified nursing assistant). Main Outcome and Measures: This study estimated the association between neighborhood deprivation and the percentage of long-stay residents who received an antipsychotic medication inappropriately in the nursing home at least once in the past week and how this varied by nursing home staffing through generalized estimating equations. Analyses were conducted on the facility level and adjusted for state fixed effects. Results: This study included 10966 nursing homes (1867 [17.0%] in severely deprived neighborhoods and 9099 [83.0%] in less deprived neighborhoods). Unadjusted inappropriate antipsychotic medication use was greater in nursing homes located in severely deprived neighborhoods (mean [SD], 15.9% [10.7%] of residents) than in those in less deprived neighborhoods (mean [SD], 14.2% [8.8%] of residents). In adjusted models, inappropriate antipsychotic medication use was higher in severely deprived neighborhoods vs less deprived neighborhoods (19.2% vs 17.1%; adjusted mean difference, 2.0 [95% CI, 0.35 to 3.71] percentage points) in nursing homes that fell below critical levels of staffing (less than 3 hours of nurse staffing per resident-day). Conclusions and Relevance: These findings suggest that levels of staffing modify disparities seen in inappropriate antipsychotic medication use among nursing homes located in severely deprived neighborhoods compared with nursing homes in less deprived neighborhoods. These findings may have important implications for improving staffing in more severely deprived neighborhoods..

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E248322
JournalJAMA network open
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 24 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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