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Antipsychotic prescribing for patients with intellectual disabilities and challenging behaviours

Bushra Elhusein (Department of Psychiatry, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar)
Yassin Eltorki (Department of Psychiatry, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar)
Oraib Abdallah (Department of Psychiatry, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar)
Mohamed El Tahir (Department of Psychiatry, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar)

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities

ISSN: 2044-1282

Article publication date: 19 June 2021

Issue publication date: 26 July 2021

139

Abstract

Purpose

Review of antipsychotic prescribing practices, rationale and follow-up using an internationally standardized audit can be an effective tool to encourage and monitor best practices. The purpose of this study is to audit the current prescribing pattern for people with intellectual disabilities and challenging behaviours in Qatar.

Design/methodology/approach

This study was based on the challenging behaviour management guidelines recommended by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. All current electronic medical records in the Mental Health Service-Hamad Medical Corporation were examined to identify patients with intellectual disabilities who received antipsychotics for challenging behaviour. Demographic variables, such as age, sex and nationality, were collected. In addition, details of psychiatric diagnoses, prescribed psychotropic medications and diagnoses of epilepsy were also collected. For patients who were prescribed antipsychotic medication, the clinical rationale for such medication was collected along with evidence of side effect monitoring to allow performance against the audit standards to be measured.

Findings

This is the first audit on prescribing practices in people with intellectual disability and challenging behaviour in the state of Qatar. The results of this study regarding the pattern of prescribing practices for patients with intellectual disability and challenging behaviour reflect the limitation in knowledge and experience among non-specialist practitioners within mental health service. The result may be helpful to support the development of specialist service provision to improve the care for such vulnerable group. The result may also help other medical centres and clinicians by providing an improved understanding of possible deviations from the best medical practices.

Originality/value

This is the first audit on prescribing practices in people with intellectual disability and challenging behaviour in the state of Qatar. The study is also noteworthy as, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, it is one of only a few studies on antipsychotic prescribing for patients with intellectual disability and challenging behaviour in the Middle East; therefore, it will be useful in raising awareness and promoting the best practices in the Middle East region. This study is also among the first few studies that were designed based on the four audit standards by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in this area.

Keywords

Citation

Elhusein, B., Eltorki, Y., Abdallah, O. and El Tahir, M. (2021), "Antipsychotic prescribing for patients with intellectual disabilities and challenging behaviours", Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Vol. 15 No. 2/3, pp. 79-88. https://doi.org/10.1108/AMHID-11-2020-0030

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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