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GPs unsure about some aspects of antipsychotropic medicines management

Study suggests new STOMP practitioner role to aid GPs with good practice in prescribing for people with learning disabilities

Study suggests new STOMP practitioner role to aid GPs with good practice in prescribing for people with learning disabilities


Picture: Alamy

Disproportionate and inappropriate use of psychotropic medication among people with learning disabilities is something England’s STOMP – stopping the overmedication of people with learning disabilities and/or autism – campaign is all about.

This study undertook a brief survey to assess the knowledge of 44 GPs in Cornwall.

The GPs were found to have reasonable knowledge of learning disabilities and good practice in prescribing. Questions where correct responses were less than 80%, related to a failure to recognise that learning disabilities is associated with reduced rates of substance misuse, and lack of familiarity with some guidance concerning the use of antipsychotic medication among people whose behaviour challenges.

Specific practice areas

There was a strong view that GPs should not be leading on a few, specific areas of practice. These included:

  • Ensuring cogent rationales for prescriptions were recorded
  • Establishing good practice on consent issues
  • Monitoring therapeutic and adverse effects
  • Undertaking regular medication reviews 

GPs suggested that these aspects should be led by specialist medical practitioners or by collaboration between GPs and specialist practitioners.

The authors suggest developing STOMP practitioner roles, focusing on screening and stratifying service users, and providing continuing education to GPs and their patients. Learning disability nurses would be especially suited to this role.

Shankar R, Wilcock M (2018) Improving knowledge of psychotropic prescribing in people with Intellectual Disability in primary care. PLOS ONE. 13, 9, e0204178 


Dave Atkinson is an independent consultant nurse

 

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