Effects of Prescription Drug Reduction on Quality of Life in Community-Dwelling Patients with Dementia

J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2015;18(5):705-12. doi: 10.18433/j37p5x.


Purpose: Due to the use of multiple drugs and prevalence of diminished cognitive function, community-dwelling elderly individuals are more likely to have drug-related issues. We examined changes in quality of life (QOL) and activities of daily living (ADL) 3 months and 6 months after reducing drug use of dementia patients who had newly begun community-dwelling care.

Methods: Prescription drug use was reduced in the intervention group, whereas the non-intervention group continued their regimen or began using additional drugs. QOL and ADL were assessed with the Japanese version of the EQ-5D and the Barthel Index, respectively.

Results: Subjects were 32 individuals aged ≥65 years who had begun community-dwelling between March and July 2014 and had received approval for long-term care insurance. On average, the intervention group (n = 19) stopped using 2.6 prescription drugs. After 6 months, the differences in the QOL and ADL scores in the intervention group were -0.03 ± 0.29 and 6.32 ± 18.6, respectively, while the differences in the QOL and ADL scores in the non-intervention group (n = 13) were -0.13 ± 0.29 and -2.69 ± 23.7, respectively. In the intervention group, ADL scores were significantly increased by 14.0 ± 11.1 6 months after reduced benzodiazepine use.

Conclusions: QOL was maintained with reduced drug use, while ADL score was slightly increased. In addition, the reduction of benzodiazepine use significantly increased ADL. In order to reduce polypharmacy among community-dwelling elderly patients, it is necessary to create an opportunity for pharmacists to re-examine their prescriptions.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Benzodiazepines / administration & dosage*
  • Benzodiazepines / adverse effects
  • Dementia / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polypharmacy
  • Prescription Drugs*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Self Care
  • Tokyo
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Prescription Drugs
  • Benzodiazepines