The initial MEPS sample consisted of 358 older adults with dementia at rounds 1 and 2. Of these, 164 patients were excluded because of prevalent anticholinergic drug use and 82 patients were excluded because of incomplete HRQoL data. The final sample included 112 patients; 17 patients (15.18%) were prescribed anticholinergic drugs at rounds 3 and/or 4.
Table 1 presents the demographic characteristics of the study sample. The majority of patients taking anticholinergic drugs were between the ages of 65 and 79 years (64.7%), women (52.9%), married (64.7%), had poor or low family income (70.6%), and were from the South (41.1%). Anticholinergic users and nonusers did not differ significantly with respect to sociodemographic factors and baseline HRQoL measures.
Table 2 presents the results of multiple linear regression analyses for both PCS and MCS. Anticholinergic drug use was a significant factor in predicting PCS but it was not associated with MCS. Anticholinergic drug users had 7.48 unit reductions in PCS (P <0.01) compared with nonusers. For both models, the baseline HRQoL was a significant predictor of follow-up HRQoL (P <0.01). Other significant predictors in the PCS model were marital status and region. Cholinesterase inhibitor use was a significant predictor of MCS (6.59 units, P < 0.01).