Using data from a pharmacy administration we investigated whether long-term use of benzodiazepines could be reduced by special attention of a general practitioner. During the intervention period the physician no longer prescribed benzodiazepines on an 'unseen repeat' basis. In addition the general practitioner informed the patient on the possible dangers of benzodiazepine use (intervention). The long-term use of benzodiazepines by patients in the intervention practice was compared to the use of benzodiazepines in a control practice. Before the intervention the intervention general practitioner and the control general practitioner prescribed 10.200 and 10.450 defined daily doses (DDD's) respectively. After 1.5 years the intervention general practitioner prescribed 19% less DDD's whereas the control general practitioner prescribed 19% more. Compared to the control practice, the percentage of patients ending or reducing the use of benzodiazepines was 4% (p = 0,28) and 15% (p = 0,016) higher, respectively, in the intervention practice. Logistic regression showed that the probability to terminate or reduce the use of benzodiazepines in the age group younger than 60 was twice as high as the same probability in the age group older than 60. No relationship was found between the three variables comedication, gender, living conditions and the probability to end or reduce the use of benzodiazepines.
|Publication status||Published - 1997|