Adults with Intellectual Disabilities Receive Same Number of Psychotropic Medications As Other Adults with Mental Health Conditions - FOX Carolina 21

Adults with Intellectual Disabilities Receive Same Number of Psychotropic Medications As Other Adults with Mental Health Conditions

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SOURCE Community Care Behavioral Health Organization

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- There are no significant differences in the number of psychotropic medications that adults with intellectual disabilities are prescribed and the number that all other adults with mental health conditions are prescribed, according to a five-year study conducted by Community Care Behavioral Health Organization (Community Care).

The study, which was initiated by concerns about the widespread use of psychotropic medication among individuals with an intellectual disability, looked at psychotropic prescribing patterns in Medicaid recipients (adults and children) with a co-diagnosis of an intellectual disability and a mental health condition, and those with mental health condition diagnoses only.

No significant differences between the two adult groups in terms of the prescribing patterns for benzodiazepines and mood stabilizers were found by the research team, which was led by Community Care Senior Medical Director Gail A. Edelsohn, MD. In the child population, researchers discovered the group of children with a diagnosis of both a mental health condition and an intellectual disability received mood stabilizers and benzodiazepines at a higher frequency than the group with a mental health condition only.

In an online article about the study that appears in "Mental Health Weekly", Dr. Edelsohn said it was, "important to emphasize, however, that while there were not significant between-group differences in prescribing rates for antipsychotics, the overall prescribing rates of antipsychotics seen in this study were still substantial, at 31 to 46 percent."

At the conclusion of the study, no immediate follow-up activity was recommended. The study, however, provided information about the ongoing examination of prescribing patterns in the services Community Care oversees as well as educated providers about the risk-benefit analysis associated with medication. 

The study results article is available online at www.mentalhealthweeklynews.com.

About Community Care

Community Care Behavioral Health Organization, a nonprofit, tax-exempt recovery-focused behavioral health managed care organization headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, manages mental health and substance use disorder services for approximately 750,000 Medical Assistance recipients in Pennsylvania. Part of UPMC, Community Care was incorporated in 1996 with a mission to improve the health and well-being of the community through the delivery of effective and accessible behavioral health services.

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