Deprescribing psychotropic medicines for behaviours that challenge in people with intellectual disabilities::a systematic review


BACKGROUND: Clear evidence of overprescribing of psychotropic medicines to manage behaviours that challenges in people with intellectual disabilities has led to national programmes within the U.K. such as NHS England's STOMP to address this. The focus of the intervention in our review was deprescribing of psychotropic medicines in children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Mental health symptomatology and quality of life were main outcomes. METHODS: We reviewed the evidence using databases Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, Web of Science, CINAHL and Open Grey with an initial cut-off date of 22nd August 2020 and an update on 14th March 2022. The first reviewer (DA) extracted data using a bespoke form and appraised study quality using CASP and Murad tools. The second reviewer (CS) independently assessed a random 20% of papers. RESULTS: Database searching identified 8675 records with 54 studies included in the final analysis. The narrative synthesis suggests that psychotropic medicines can sometimes be deprescribed. Positive and negative consequences were reported. Positive effects on behaviour, mental and physical health were associated with an interdisciplinary model. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first systematic review of the effects of deprescribing psychotropic medicines in people with intellectual disabilities which is not limited to antipsychotics. Main risks of bias were underpowered studies, poor recruitment processes, not accounting for other concurrent interventions and short follow up periods. Further research is needed to understand how to address the negative effects of deprescribing interventions. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The protocol was registered with PROSPERO (registration number CRD42019158079).

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > Aston Pharmacy School
College of Health & Life Sciences
College of Health & Life Sciences > Chronic and Communicable Conditions
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Uncontrolled Keywords: Research,Deprescribing,Intellectual disabilities,Psychotropic medication,Behaviours that challenge
Publication ISSN: 1471-244X
Last Modified: 23 May 2024 07:18
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2023 15:36
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Related URLs: https://bmcpsyc ... 888-022-04479-w (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Review article
Published Date: 2023-03-28
Published Online Date: 2023-03-28
Accepted Date: 2022-12-15
Submitted Date: 2022-05-22
Authors: Adams, Danielle
Hastings, Richard P.
Maidment, Ian (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-4152-9704)
Shah, Chetan
Langdon, Peter E.



Version: Accepted Version

Access Restriction: Restricted to Registered users only


Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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