Benzodiazepine prescription in the elderly in different health care levels: Characteristics and related factors

Agurne García-Baztán, Cristina Roqueta, M. Isabel Martínez-Fernández, Daniel Colprim, Pedro Puertas, Ramón Miralles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To determine the prevalence of benzodiazepine (BZD) prescription and the factors related to prescribing them in the elderly in the community, in an acute general hospital (AH) and in a convalescence geriatric unit (CGU). Material and methods: Retrospective study of 334 CGU inpatients discharged from an AH. A comprehensive geriatric assessment included functional and cognitive evaluation before hospitalization, at admission and at discharge from CGU (Barthel index, Lawton index and Folstein Mini-Mental State Examination), as well as comorbidity (Charlson index), polypharmacy and social situation. The percentage of benzodiazepine prescriptions at the different healthcare levels was compared and their related factors were evaluated (Chi-squared test). Results: The prevalence of benzodiazepine prescriptions in the community was 23.6%, and being female and polypharmacy were related factors to prescribing at this level. During AH admission, this proportion increased up to 38.6%, and after CGU admission decreased to 21.,9%. Factors related to prescription in AH were, being female, polypharmacy and osteoarticular-fracture related diagnosis, and in CGU, being female and polypharmacy. Conclusions: The prevalence of benzodiazepine prescribing was high among elderly people at every healthcare level (community, AH and CGU), and polypharmacy was one of the significant factors associated with prescribing. This prescribing was increased during AH admission due to a medical or surgical process. © 2012 SEGG.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-28
JournalRevista Espanola de Geriatria y Gerontologia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Associated factors
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Elderly
  • Hospitalization
  • Polypharmacy


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