Long-term benzodiazepine users in family practice: differences from short-term users in mental health, coping behaviour and psychological characteristics.
SourceFamily Practice, 21, 3, (2004), pp. 266-269
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectEBP 3: Effective Primary Care and Public Health
BACKGROUND: Contrary to short-term use, long-term benzodiazepine use is undesirable. Nevertheless, its prevalence is high. To prevent long-term use, it is important to know which short-term users are at risk of becoming long-term users. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the present study was to identify patient-related factors of long-term versus short-term use of benzodiazepines. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out in family practices among users of benzodiazepines with regard to DSM-IV diagnosis, coping and psychosocial characteristics,. In a multivariate logistic regression analysis, long-term use of benzodiazepines was the dependent variable. RESULTS: A total of 164 short-term and 158 long-term benzodiazepine users participated in the study. Having a DSM-IV disorder and psychiatric co-morbidity, being older, less educated, lonely and using more avoidance coping behaviour was associated with long-term use of benzodiazepines compared with short-term use. CONCLUSION: The associations found point to possibilities to reduce long-term benzodiazepine use, for example if patients with these characteristics are treated with the alternatives to benzodiazepines or are monitored closely for a short period after being prescribing benzodiazepines.
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