Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 9
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Etchepare, Fanny Pambrun, Elodie Bégaud, Bernard Verdoux, Hélène and Tournier, Marie 2016. Compliance of psychotropic drug prescription with clinical practice guidelines in older inpatients. Fundamental & Clinical Pharmacology, Vol. 30, Issue. 1, p. 82.

    Murphy, Yoko Wilson, Emily Goldner, Elliot M. and Fischer, Benedikt 2016. Benzodiazepine Use, Misuse, and Harm at the Population Level in Canada: A Comprehensive Narrative Review of Data and Developments Since 1995. Clinical Drug Investigation, Vol. 36, Issue. 7, p. 519.

    Pérodeau, Guilhème Grenon, Émilie Grenier, Sébastien and O'Connor, Kieron 2016. Systemic model of chronic benzodiazepine use among mature adults. Aging & Mental Health, Vol. 20, Issue. 4, p. 380.

    St-Hilaire, Alexandre Hudon, Carol Préville, Michel and Potvin, Olivier 2016. Utilization of healthcare services among elderly with cognitive impairment no dementia and influence of depression and anxiety: a longitudinal study. Aging & Mental Health, p. 1.

    Helmes, Edward and Østbye, Truls 2015. Associations between Benzodiazepine Use and Neuropsychological Test Scores in Older Adults. Canadian Journal on Aging / La Revue canadienne du vieillissement, Vol. 34, Issue. 02, p. 207.

    Kurko, T.A.T. Saastamoinen, L.K. Tähkäpää, S. Tuulio-Henriksson, A. Taiminen, T. Tiihonen, J. Airaksinen, M.S. and Hietala, J. 2015. Long-term use of benzodiazepines: Definitions, prevalence and usage patterns – a systematic review of register-based studies. European Psychiatry, Vol. 30, Issue. 8, p. 1037.

    Ngamini Ngui, André Vasiliadis, Helen-Maria and Préville, Michel 2015. Individual and area-level factors correlated with death by suicide in older adults. Preventive Medicine, Vol. 75, p. 44.

    Arbus, C. Hergueta, T. Duburcq, A. Saleh, A. Le Guern, M.-E. Robert, P. and Camus, V. 2014. Adjustment disorder with anxiety in old age: Comparing prevalence and clinical management in primary care and mental health care. European Psychiatry, Vol. 29, Issue. 4, p. 233.

    Vozoris, Nicholas T 2014. Do benzodiazepines contribute to respiratory problems?. Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine, Vol. 8, Issue. 6, p. 661.

  • Canadian Journal on Aging / La Revue canadienne du vieillissement, Volume 31, Issue 3
  • September 2012, pp. 313-322

Correlates of Potentially Inappropriate Prescriptions of Benzodiazepines among Older Adults: Results from the ESA Study*


ESA study data were paired with Quebec medical and pharmaceutical services records to document potentially inappropriate benzodiazepines (Bzs) prescriptions among community-dwelling adults aged 65 and older. Results indicate that 32 per cent of respondents took a mean daily dose of 6.1 mg of equivalent diazepam for, on average, 205 days per year. Almost half (48%) of Bzs users received a potentially inappropriate benzodiazepine prescription at least once during the year preceding the survey. About 23 per cent received at least one concomitant prescription of a Bz and another drug that could result in serious interaction. In addition, individuals aged 75 and older were more likely to receive Bzs for a longer period of time than those aged 65–74. Number of pharmacies used was associated with inappropriate Bzs prescriptions. Our results argue in favour of a more integrated health services system, including a regular review of older adults’ drug regimens.


Les données de l’étude ESA ont été appariées aux données d’utilisation des services médicaux et pharmaceutiques de la Régie d’assurance maladie du Québec pour documenter la prescription potentiellement non appropriée de benzodiazépines chez les personnes âgées. Nos résultats indiquent que 32% des répondants ont pris une dose journalière moyenne de 6.1 mg de l’équivalent diazépam pour une durée moyenne de 205 jours par année. Nos résultats indiquent aussi que presque la moitié, 48% des utilisateurs de benzodiazépines, ont reçu au moins une prescription de benzodiazépine potentiellement non appropriée pendant les 12 mois qui précédaient l’étude. Près de 23% des consommateurs ont reçu au moins une prescription concomitante de Bzs et d’un autre médicament pouvant résulter en une interaction sérieuse. De plus, les personnes âgées de 75 ans et plus avaient plus de chances de recevoir une Bz pour une longue période de temps que les personnes âgées de 65-74 ans. Cette étude a montré que la durée d’utilisation des benzodiazépines augmentait avec le nombre de prescripteurs et avec le nombre de pharmacies consultées pendant l’année. Le nombre de pharmacies utilisées a aussi été associé avec la présence d’une ordonnance non appropriée de benzodiazépines pendant la même année. Nos résultats plaident en faveur d’un système de santé plus intégré, incluant une révision régulière des médicaments pris par les personnes âgées.

Corresponding author
Correspondence and requests for offprints should be sent to / La correspondance et les demandes de tirés-à-part doivent être adressées à: Michel Préville, Ph.D. Research Centre, Hôpital Charles LeMoyne 3120, boul. Taschereau Greenfield Park, QC J4V 2H1
Hide All

This study was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (200403MOP) and by the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ-Conseil du medicament: 051719). The authors thank members of the Scientific Committee of the ESA Study (Étude sur la Santé des Aïnés) for the significant scientific advice they provided, and Bernadette Wilson, who provided editing comments.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

R.R. Aparasu , J.R. Mort , & H. Brandt (2003). Psychotropic prescription use by community-dwelling elderly in the United States. Journal of American Geriatrics Society, 51(5), 671677.

E.J. Bierman , H.C. Comijs , C.M. Gundy , C. Sonnenberg , C. Jonker , & A.T. Beekman (2007). The effect of chronic benzodiazepine use on cognitive functioning in older persons: Good, bad or indifferent? International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 22(12), 11941200.

M. Egan , Y. Moride , C. Wolfson , & J. Monette (2000). Long-term continuous use of benzodiazepines by older adults in Quebec: Prevalence, incidence and risk factors. Journal of American Geriatrics Society, 48(7), 811816.

D.M. Fick , J.L. Waller , J.R. Maclean , R. Vanden Heuvel , J.G. Tadlock , M. Gottlieb , . (2001). Potentially inappropriate medication use in a medicare managed care population: Association with higher costs and utilization. Journal of Managing Care Pharmacology, 7(5), 407413.

P.P. Gleason , R. Schulz , N.L. Smith , J.T. Newsom , P.D. Kroboth , F.J. Kroboth , . (1998). Correlates and prevalence of benzodiazepine use in community-dwelling elderly. Journal of General International Medicine, 13(4), 243250.

R.E. Grymonpre , P.A. Mitenko , D.S. Sitar , F.Y. Aoki , & P.R. Montgomery (1988). Drug-associated hospital admissions in older medical patients. Journal of American Geriatrics Society, 36(12), 10921098.

J.T. Hanlon , K.E. Schmader , C. Boult , M.B. Artz , C.R. Gross , G.G. Fillenbaum , . (2002). Use of inappropriate prescription drugs by older people. Journal of American Geriatrics Society, 50(1), 2634.

H.W. Keri Yang , L. Simoni-Wastila , I.H. Zuckerman , & B. Stuart (2008). Benzodiazepine use and expenditures for medicare beneficiaries and the implications of medicare part D exclusions. Psychiatric Services, 59(4), 384391.

F. Landi , G. Onder , M. Cesari , C. Barillaro , A. Russo , R. Bernabei , . (2005). Psychotropic medications and risk for falls among community-dwelling frail older people: An observational study. Journal of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 60(5), 622626.

H.J. Luijendijk , H. Tiemeier , A. Hofman , J. Heeringa , & B.H. Stricker (2008). Determinants of chronic benzodiazepine use in the elderly: A longitudinal study. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 65(4), 593599.

K. Morgan , H. Dallosso , S. Ebrahim , T. Arie , & P.H. Fentem (1988). Prevalence, frequency, and duration of hypnotic drug use among the elderly living at home. British Medical Journal (Clinical Research Edition), 296(6622), 601602.

A.R. Roberts (2002). Assessment, crisis intervention, and trauma treatment: The integrative ACT intervention model. Brief Treatment in Crisis Intervention, 2(1), 121.

M. Swartz , R. Landerman , L.K. George , M.L. Melville , D. Blazer , & K. Smith (1991). Benzodiazepine anti-anxiety agents: Prevalence and correlates of use in a southern community. American Journal of Public Health, 81(5), 592596.

P. Voyer , P. Cappeliez , G. Pérodeau , & M. Préville (2005). Mental health for older adults and benzodiazpine use. Journal of Community Health Nursing, 22(4), 213229.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Canadian Journal on Aging / La Revue canadienne du vieillissement
  • ISSN: 0714-9808
  • EISSN: 1710-1107
  • URL: /core/journals/canadian-journal-on-aging-la-revue-canadienne-du-vieillissement
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *