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Long-term benzodiazepine and Z-drugs use in the UK: a survey of general practice

Overview of attention for article published in British Journal of General Practice, July 2017
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (94th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (83rd percentile)

Mentioned by

news
2 news outlets
blogs
1 blog
twitter
37 tweeters
facebook
4 Facebook pages
wikipedia
1 Wikipedia page

Citations

dimensions_citation
5 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
14 Mendeley
Title
Long-term benzodiazepine and Z-drugs use in the UK: a survey of general practice
Published in
British Journal of General Practice, July 2017
DOI 10.3399/bjgp17x691865
Pubmed ID
Authors

James Davies, Todd C Rae, Luke Montagu

Abstract

Current British National Formulary (BNF) guidelines state that benzodiazepines and zolpidem, zopiclone, and zaleplon, commonly known as Z-drugs (BZD), be prescribed for no more than 4 weeks, although anecdotal data suggest that many patients are prescribed BZDs for much longer. As there are no recent, evidence-based estimates of long-term (>12 months) BZD use in the UK, the scale of this potential problem is unknown. To produce the first reliable, evidence-based estimate of long-term BZD use in the UK. Estimates of UK long-term BZD use were projected from data obtained from a survey conducted in 2014-2015 by the Bridge Project, a prescribed-drug withdrawal support charity in the North of England (Bradford). Percentages of long-term users of BZD were derived from the survey, by sampling primary care GP surgeries with around 100 000 registered patients, and these were applied to UK-wide NHS patient numbers. The data were filtered to exclude the very young and old, and those with other health issues. The mean percentage of registered patients prescribed BZDs for more than a year in the survey sample is 0.69% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.54 to 0.84). Applying this value to national patient numbers yields a mean projection of 296 929 (95% CI = 232 553 to 361 305) long-term users of BZD in the UK. The data also suggest that as many as 119 165 of these patients may be willing to accept prescribed drug dependency withdrawal services. More than a quarter of a million people in the UK are likely to be taking highly dependency-forming hypnotic medication far beyond the recommended time scales. As there is evidence that long-term use of BZDs causes adverse physiological and neurological effects, and protracted withdrawal (with associated complications), this represents a serious public health problem.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 37 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 14 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 14 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 4 29%
Other 3 21%
Student > Bachelor 2 14%
Researcher 2 14%
Unspecified 2 14%
Other 1 7%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 10 71%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 2 14%
Unspecified 2 14%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 48. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 30 May 2018.
All research outputs
#269,995
of 11,584,834 outputs
Outputs from British Journal of General Practice
#118
of 2,365 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#14,059
of 263,974 outputs
Outputs of similar age from British Journal of General Practice
#15
of 91 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 11,584,834 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 97th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 2,365 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 12.2. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 95% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 263,974 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 94% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 91 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 83% of its contemporaries.