Improving knowledge of psychotropic prescribing in people with Intellectual Disability in primary care.
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PURPOSE: People with Intellectual disability (ID) are likely to be prescribed psychotropic medication particularly antipsychotics without a clear clinical indication. This has given rise to a national initiative in the UK to stop overprescribing medication in this vulnerable population. While the goals are simple it is unclear if specialist ID services or primary care services in the UK should look to lead. Further, it is uncertain if primary care practitioners (GPs) can be systematically educated of the latest good practice developments and concerns in this specialised area. This study surveyed the knowledge level of a sample of GPs in Cornwall UK (county of 538,000) post a structured tutorial on psychotropic medication and people with ID. METHODS: A 21 item questionnaire was delivered in meetings organised for all the county GPs a year after a talk given to the same demographic. The questionnaire conducted an assessment of the knowledge of national guidance on use of psychotropic medication in ID based on the subjects covered in the tutorial. RESULTS: Of the 60 expected GP participants the tutorial was attended by 44 GPs (73%) and the follow up meeting by 42 (70%). Ninety percent GPs in the follow up meeting filled the questionnaire. For 16 questions, more than 80% GPs gave correct responses whereas five questions attracted a correct answer from less than 80%. Majority of the GPs felt psychotropic medication management in people with ID should be specialist led. CONCLUSIONS: GPs' knowledge of issues relevant to prescribing in people with ID benefitted from the tutorial. However a clear need for the psychotropic medication management to be delivered via specialist care emerged. This raises issues of resource allocation and debate on whether people with ID require specialist provision due to lack of ability in main stream primary care to manage their needs.
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