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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Phyllis Gaspar


social drug use among rural elderly, psychotropic drugs


The use of psychotropic agents among the rural elderly is an area of concern for health care providers. Studies have indicated that the elderly are major consumers of psychotropic prescription and overthe- counter medications, however no studies have examined the rural elderly's patterns of psychotropic drug use.
The purpose of this study was to determine the utilization patterns of prescription and over-thecounter psychotropic medications by the rural community-based elderly. The use of alcohol and caffeine was also determined.
Personal interviews were conducted with 30 elderly living independently in a rural midwestern community. The data revealed that 13.3% of the subjects used prescription psychotropic medications and none used psychotropic over-the-counter drugs. Seven subjects reported alcohol use and 43% consumed three or more cups of coffee daily. Although the use of the psychotropic agents was relatively low, the elderly may need education interventions to maintain independent functioning in the rural community.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Rural elderly -- Drug use
Psychotropic drugs



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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