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Juanita Breen (previously Westbury)

Senior Lecturer in Dementia Care, University of Tasmania

Juanita’s background is as a community pharmacist. She became accredited to perform medication reviews in aged care homes in 1997. From 2001, Juanita worked as a pharmacist in England where she provided pharmaceutical advice to GPs, developed programs promoting optimum medication use and completed a Master of Science degree at Keele University investigating medication adherence in older people. Juanita returned to Australia in 2006 and completed her doctorate in 2011 with her thesis entitled: “Roles for pharmacists in improving the quality use of psychotropic medicines in aged care homes (ACHs)”. As part of the PhD an intervention project, ‘RedUSe’ (Redusing Use of Sedatives), was developed and trialled; for which Juanita was awarded an International Psychogeriatric Association Junior Research award in 2009. Juanita commenced a NHMRC Translating Research Into Practice (TRIP) fellowship in 2014. The RedUse project was expanded to 150 ACHs in 6 Australian states and the ACT from 2014-2016, significantly reducing the use of antipsychotics and benzodiazepines by 13% and 21%, respectively. Two thirds of participant homes reduced usage rates of both psychotropics and over 2500 ACH staff attended training sessions. The RedUSe project was awarded the 2018 Mental Health Services (TheMHS) award for Education, Training or Workforce development.


  • 2015–present
    Senior lecturer, Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre
  • 2006–2015
    Lecturer, Discipline of Pharmacy, School of Medicine, University of Tasmania
  • 2004–2006
    Primary Care Pharmacist, Central Cheshire Primary Care Trust, Nantwich, Cheshire, England


  • 2011 
    University of Tasmania, PhD
  • 2002 
    Keele University, MSc in Community Pharmacy (Dist)
  • 1997 
    University of South Australia, Graduate Diploma Of Community Practice Pharmacy
  • 1985 
    Sydney University, Bachelor of Pharmacy


  • 2018
    RedUSe: reducing antipsychotic and benzodiazepine prescribing in residential aged care facilities., Medical Journal of Australia May 21;208(9):398-403.
  • 2018
    More action needed: Psychotropic prescribing in Australian residential aged care., Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry Feb doi: 10.1177/0004867418758919
  • 2018
    Clinical and Economic Outcomes of Interventions to Reduce Antipsychotic and Benzodiazepine Use Within Nursing Homes: A Systematic Review., Drugs and Aging. Feb;35(2):123-134
  • 2017
    Antipsychotic Drug Prescribing in Nursing Homes. , Journal of the American Medical Association. Nov 14
  • 2017
    An Internet-Based Method for Extracting Nursing Home Resident Sedative Medication Data From Pharmacy Packing Systems: Descriptive Evaluation, Journal of Medical Internet Research. Aug 3;19(8):e283.
  • 2016
    Assessing Health Practitioner Knowledge of Appropriate Psychotropic Medication Use in Nursing Homes: Validation of the Older Age Psychotropic Quiz., Journal of Gerontological Nursing Jul 5:1-8. doi: 10.3928/00989134-20160701-01

Grants and Contracts

  • 2014
    NHMRC TRIP Fellowship
    Funding Source:
    Australian Federal Government
  • 2013
    Expansion of the RedUSe project
    Funding Source:
    Department of Health
  • 2008
    Reducing Use of Sedatives (RedUSe) pilot
    Primary Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Pharmacy Guild (Fourth Pharmacy Agreement)

Professional Memberships

  • Australian Association of Gerontology
  • International Psychogeriatric Association
  • Pharmaceutical Society of Australia

Research Areas

  • Clinical Pharmacy And Pharmacy Practice (111503)
  • Aged Care Nursing (111001)
  • Mental Health (111714)
  • Geriatrics And Gerontology (110308)
  • Clinical Pharmacology And Therapeutics (111502)