Benzodiazepine utilization in a family medicine residency program.

R. D. Seifert, R. D. Clarens, M. D. Sorensen, R. J. Kuzel, M. L. Lindblom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A study was conducted to determine the benzodiazepine-prescribing habits of residents in a family medicine training program. Data were collected from medication profiles of all patients seen at the Family Practice Center from July 1975 to February 1981. Additional demographic data (ie, age, sex) were collected on patients prescribed benzodiazepines, and prescribing behavior was validated according to the Psychopharmacological Screening Criteria Development Project. Of 7,802 patients only 110 (1.4 percent) had been prescribed a benzodiazepine. Female patients (61 percent) received benzodiazepines more frequently than did male patients (39 percent). Diazepam, with 94 prescriptions, was the most frequently utilized benzodiazepine, and flurazepam was next with 18 prescriptions. Eighty-four percent of the benzodiazepines were prescribed for valid indications. Minimal or no documentation could be determined for the remaining 16 percent. Significantly higher dosages of diazepam were prescribed for skeletal muscle injury or spasm than for anxiety neuroses. Seventy-one percent of the patients prescribed diazepam and 78 percent of the patients prescribed flurazepam received therapy for less than one month's duration. Data indicate that benzodiazepines were prescribed relatively infrequently at the Family Practice Center.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-500
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Family Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 1982


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