Late Breaking Research Poster 2280877| Volume 104, ISSUE 3, e11, March 2023

Anticholinergic Drug Exposure in Older Adults And Potential Barriers to Rehabilitation

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      Research Objectives

      The main purpose of this study was to review the use of anticholinergic drug in older adults and its potential barriers to rehabilitation.


      This review was conducted using the following databases: Taylor & Francis, Science Direct, Google Scholar, and ProQuest Central. Inclusion criteria consisted of peer-reviewed articles published in English between the years 1999-2019. Keywords for the search included Anticholinergic, polypharmacy, Anticholinergic burden, and older adults. A total number of 29 articles were reviewed, and 5 articles were retained.


      Literature review.


      Literature review.


      Independent extraction by multiple observers.

      Main Outcome Measures



      Articles reviewed the implementation of anticholinergic use to treat several medical conditions. Research highlights negative effects associated with increased anticholinergic drug exposure leading to Anticholinergic burden (ACB). This may lead to impairment in cognitive function, impaired physical abilities leading to falls, overall lower levels of functional performance, and cardiovascular events. However, no significant relationship was found when examining its effects on rehabilitation treatment outcomes.


      Researchers have found that side effects such as constipation, dry mouth, confusion, and increased heart rate are prevalent following use. Additionally, these types of medications have the potential to induce impaired cognitive and physical performance. Due to polypharmacy to aid in managing multiple morbidities, older adults are especially at risk for ACB. This may present challenges for older adult patients in rehabilitation. Further research should be conducted to evaluate interventions in clinical practice to promote education and thorough medication review to reduce the effects of ACB while maximizing rehabilitation outcomes for older adults.

      Author(s) Disclosures


      Key Words

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